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Gorsuch nomination to Supreme Court clears Senate Judiciary Committee

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         Gorsuch nomination to Supreme Court clears Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Monday, sending it to the Senate floor along party lines as a showdown loomed over the so-called nuclear option.

President Donald Trump’s nominee had been expected to clear the committee, only to face a more dramatic test in the full Senate later this week. Gorsuch needs 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate, which Republicans control with 52 seats. Early Monday afternoon, Democrats had enough votes to block Gorsuch.

Republicans may respond by triggering what is known as the “nuclear option” — that is, changing Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch with a simple majority.

Just three Senate Democrats have said they will support Gorsuch: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Read: Gorsuch vote in Senate expected to test red-state Democrats.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that it was up to Senate Democrats whether there would be rule changes and declared that “we’re going to confirm Judge Gorsuch this week.”

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware became the 41st Democrat to say he would join a filibuster. He left himself some wiggle room, however, saying he could change his mind if the Senate agrees not to change filibuster rules in the future.

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