Gorsuch "Nuclear Option" Could "Fundamentally Transform" The Senate Forever

Tyler Durden's picture

Judge Gorsuch's confirmation vote, expected to be held in the Senate later this week, could have far-reaching legislative consequences well beyond the make up of the Supreme Court.  With Democrats vowing to "fight tooth and nail," as Chuck Schumer would say, to filibuster Gorsuch, Republicans are likely to pursue the "nuclear option" to secure his nomination, a move that would eliminate the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees.

But several senators are warning that bypassing the Senate's filibuster rules for Gorsuch's vote, a move that Democrats utilized multiple times as well, is a slippery slope that would inevitably lead to calls to eliminate the filibuster for legislation as well so that bills could pass with a simple majority. Such a change would remove the last vestige of the Senate’s long tradition of protecting minority views, turning it into a smaller version of the House and fundamentally transforming the way laws are made.  Per The Hill:

“The thing I worry most about is that we become we like the House of Representatives. What’s the next step? Legislation?” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).


“I’m convinced it’s a slippery slope.”


Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) warned last week on the Senate floor that growing pressure from the right and the left will make it difficult to withstand calls to eliminate the legislative filibuster.


“If we continue on the path we’re on right now, the very next time there’s a legislative proposal that one side of the aisle feels is so important they cannot let their base down, the pressure builds, then we’re going to vote the nuclear option on the legislative piece,” he said.


“That’s what will happen. Somebody will do it.”

Of course, the likelihood of Gorsuch being confirmed absent the "nuclear option" are looking fairly slim with Senators McCaskill (D-MO) and Tester (D-Mont.) both confirming they'll oppose his nomination.

Republicans need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster backed by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who on Sunday said it is “highly, highly unlikely” that Republicans will get there.


Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Friday and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on Sunday said they would oppose Gorsuch and back a filibuster. The decisions by the two senators, who both face reelection next year in states won by Trump, seem to back Schumer's words up.


Republicans need to find another six votes to invoke cloture, and they have few options left.


Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has sent mixed signals over whether he’d back the filibuster.


Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who represents Gorsuch’s home state, is an unknown, as are Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine).



And while a couple of Democrats from key swing states have said they'll support Gorsuch, their support is not enough to get Republicans the 60 votes they need.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of only three Democrats who have explicitly said they’d oppose a filibuster of Gorsuch, warns the Senate is in danger of becoming a smaller version of the House, where the minority party has few rights.


“People who have been here for a long time know that we’re going down the wrong path here. The most unique political body in the world, the United States Senate, will be no more than a six-year term in the House,” he said.


“I’m doing whatever I can to preserve he 60-vote rule,” he said.


Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who like Manchin says she will vote to allow Gorsuch’s nomination to move forward, said she is also concerned about the legislative filibuster.


“This erosion that seems to be happening, of course I’m worried about it,” she said. 


Gorsuch picked up a third Democratic vote on Sunday when Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) said he would back him.

But, not everyone is opposed to "going nuclear".  Former Representative Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) said the filibuster was created to protect the minority party “in extreme circumstances” but has morphed into a partisan tool that simply creates deadlock in Washington D.C.  “It’s become so common place to block just about everything including even appropriation bills so that the Congress can’t get its work done. The filibuster as it’s currently used has really worn out its welcome,” he said in an interview.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) has also called on Republicans to ditch the filibuster saying “my biggest concern is that they not allow some of these arcane rules that have nothing to do with the Constitution."

Harry Reid was also a big fan of eliminating the filibuster, saying “You can’t have a democracy decided by 60 out of 100, and that’s why changing the rules is one of the best things that has happened to America in a long time."

Of course, as the saying goes, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"...so Republicans may be best served to remember they won't hold control of the Senate forever.

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nuubee's picture

Funny, this didn't matter when the goal was to pass Obamacare. 

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

and that came back to bite 'em in the ass, bigly

Buzz Fuzzel's picture

Repeal the 17th Amendment and this problem is solved.

divingengineer's picture

The very split second that Democrats control the Senate again you can expect the rules to be changed anyways. You might as well fuck them before they fuck you. God damn Republicans will never fucking learn. Bunch of pussy fart motherfuckers. Steamroll these assholes and go to lunch.

SpinDrift's picture

"Republicans will never learn" = stupidity  Methinks the republicunts are well aware of their options and are waiting for their masters to tell them how high they should jump.   1 coin, 2 sides, both tails.....  

Hyper agressive TSA patdowns?  On the verge of allowing ISPs to sell EVERYBODIES surfing history (blackmail goldmine) and not just arresting goveners who openly oppose following FEDERAL immigration law?    

The illusion of choice is the narcotic for the masses and begets this kind of shit.   Nobody asking if the nominee will be good for the country, it's just a tit for tat tantrum by the high paid dipshits we 'elected' to tell us how to live.  Kabuki theater in high priced suits.

~ SD

MEFOBILLS's picture

Awesome!  I am always pleased when somebody notices the pernicious influence of 17'th.

The founding fathers intended for Senate to be non-populist.  Senators are to be sent by STATE LEGISLATURES, not voted into office.

The Senate was to be a great deliberating body, which takes a long civilizational view, and which also represent the interests of their states.  If a Senator gets too froggy and does not do State's bidding, he could be recalled.

Note that today's Senator in no way represents what founders intended.  A Senator today is often low intelligence, and panders to the lowest common denominator.  They have to do this pandering using Lobbyist money, hence Senators are beholden to monied interests - to then buy your vote.

It is no secret that our ((friends)) funded and pushed for 17'th along with Federal Reserve Act, and income taxes.  Income taxes - which are unconstitutional as they are not apportioned - are another  means of destroying U.S. Federalism.  Way to go Woodrow, you did destroy the country.

Watch antics of Senate and watch the handiwork of our ((friends)).

gumby1129's picture

Wouldn't it be great if the Federalist (and the Anti-Federalist) Papers were both required reading in High School! Fat chance though.....

scrappy's picture

I agree with you MEOFBILLS regarding the 17th.

However, I think the problem is much deeper.

What IF?

What if we reexamine the "Civil War?"

The southern states walked out of the senate and the house, I seem to recall.

Did they have a functioning government at that point in time, THEN?

Under what reconstituted governmental authority?

Did they create a new government?

Was a war declared? Was a peace treaty signed?

If anyone can answer this with lawful evidence, I am open to listening.



What really happened?



Mandella/Mandela Effect and the 13th Titles of Nobility Amendment


What really Happened?




I think this merits a full review.

Iconoclast421's picture

How so? Which of them actually got punished for voting for obamacare?

fockewulf190's picture

“People who have been here for a long time..."

Big problem right there. Bring on the fucking Term limits pronto!

Tallest Skil's picture

I have an idea, you fucking traitors: clean out the Supreme Court and replace them with justices who will personally put up and reassess every single major law written since 1913 to weigh on the constitutionality thereof. Do this and maybe the DotR won’t come as quickly.

laomei's picture

Imagine the rides you could give people with those helicopter drones

Insomnant's picture

Hey! Some of us are really looking forward to DotR! Stop giving away advice on how to delay it!

mary mary's picture

And add a Presbyterian, a Lutheran, a Christian Scientist, an Anglican, a Baptist, a Quaker, a Buddhist, a Hindu, and an Agnostic to the Supreme Court.

Today's Supreme Court is 100% Jews and Catholics, and is therefore government of the people of the USA by Israel and the Vatican.

LithiumWarsWAKEUP's picture

Well, since Protestants are 48%+ of population, sure, we need more. 5 is ok by me. All the 'others' are less than 10%; i could be wrong. But they only get 1 Judge. Jews...0. Sorry, only 2% of population, and 89% of f'g thing up. Along w/the pope's boys and girls. F'em all,,,all pedo's.

dot.dot's picture

Why hesitate going to nuclear option?  Harry Reid did it multiple times so fuck'm.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

McConnell has already implied that he will not hesitate, and that Gorsuch will thus be confirmed this week.

Kayman's picture

 "bypassing the Senate's filibuster rules for Gorsuch's vote, a move that Democrats utilized multiple times"

It's a good thing liberals, the MSM and the Dirty Noxious Criminals party members only have 2 sides of their mouths to talk out of. Otherwise they would be talking out of their asses.... 

Beowulf55's picture

It's a good thing liberals, the MSM and the Dirty Noxious Criminals party members only have 2 sides of their mouths to talk out of. Otherwise they would be talking out of their asses....



Pasadena Phil's picture

Now add "corruption" into the equation and let's see whether it's the "nuclear" option that is transforming the Senate or that it is just a desperate and necessary tactic for staying in the democracy game before it is too late.

The Senate has already been transformed as has the entire establishment. Any remaining semblance to a "two-party" system is because of those who continue to cling to the kabuki facade. Sorry. BUSTED! We exposted that phony facade years ago. That is how we arrived at this moment.

laomei's picture

Nuclear option for SCOTUS

Nuclear option for ALL legislation going forward as well

If there is ever a point where the GOP is set to lose control of the Senate:  Change the rules so that changing the rules requires more votes than the bolsheviks can get.  Then filibuster and obstruct them entirely until they fail, then regain power and change the rules again.


It's time to realize that it's time we need to start playing for keeps.

odatruf's picture

Any change in the rules that can be put in place by a majority can be changed by a future majority.

laomei's picture

No, I'm saying to change the rule for changing rules.

Winston Churchill's picture


Make everything a majority vote and remove the politics main excuse to do nothing.

The 60 vote cloture rule is one reason we are in this mess.Nothing that could really the countrys

current vector is going to ever get those 60 votes.

Probably want make a difference,at this point,but its worth a try.

odatruf's picture

I agree the cloture process has been a cluster fuck, but do you really think more laws passing is a solution?

Winston Churchill's picture

I had repealing laws in mind.Draining the swamp will require it.

laomei's picture

We need to repeal Hart-Cellar and start stripping the anchor babies of their alleged citizenship status.  Then redefine "refugee" as a temporary resident with a status that can never change, nor can their children be given status and they must remain in refugee camps until they can be relocated either back to their country or another country that fits the culture they come from. Such camps must be isolated, guarded and allow no filming or media.  Any true refugee who fears for their life in their home country will welcome such refuge, anyone who complains about it is not a real refugee.

Dr. Engali's picture

Every fucking year we hear this threatened at least once. Just do it all ready and get it over with. You clowns have already shown us that rules and laws mean nothing to you and your ilk.

spastic_colon's picture

yes but they must keep up the "its for the people" act

Bay of Pigs's picture

Thats what I ws thinking Doc.

When was the last time the Senate did anything good for the country?

jmack's picture

Well, they do take recess all the time.

Mat Cauthon's picture

What Gorsuch and others in the political realm fail to mention is that when Senators choose politics and ideology over the needs of the people and country, then the Republic and Constitution as a whole is dead.

All one has to do is go back to see what Congress was like between the Missouri Compromise of 1854 and the start of the Civil War to see the inability of men to be open to discussion and cooperation will tear a nation apart over even the smallest of topics.

Consuelo's picture



 Lincoln and his merry band of Tyrants knew what was at stake, and they were not about to let it go.   The unhindered growth of Centralized Power can be traced right back to that era and its outcome.  

Robert Trip's picture

Lincoln was a war criminal who sanctioned General Sherman's "scorched earth" policy even after the Confederates had lost the war.

I pray he is rotting in Hell.

corporatewhore's picture

It amazes me that someone down voted you but you do get a lot of Lincoln propaganda in school without an examination as to the myth behind the man.

Yog Soggoth's picture

Oh, he is, and tormented by the ghosts of the South, West, East and North.

RightLineBacker's picture

Very true.

It was a war to determine if the USA was a Federation or a Confederation of the States.

Unfortunately the Strong Central Government dictators won.

And today we have a totally corrupted and unbelievably expensive USSA Dictatorship.

We are now ruled by a more oppressive and less representative Government than the British Monarchy we defeated.


MEFOBILLS's picture

The virus of centralized power was planted at the birth of the nation.  

Centralized power is a function of the money power.  Bank of England in 1694 was the first debt spreading bank on Earth.

It was only Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Payne who figured it out.  It was too new for the other dimmer bulbs to understand and fight against.

The civil war can also be understood in the context of economics.  The south was opening up land for growing cotton.  Our Jewish friends were running the slave trade out of Africa and offering labor to grow said cotton, especially in the south.

The cotton would then go to England to be converted to textiles, and then sold throught the colonial system.  

In other words, the south economy was linking up to England's Colonial system, and at same time was importing african slaves as labor.  This threatened to turn entire west of the U.S. black.  In Alabama and Georgia, blacks outnumbered whites significantly.

The North didn't use chattel slavery.  They had indentured servants, who were in debt to England.  These debt serfs were white, and made good employees in Northern Industry. The North was industrializing and trying to keep the English "free marketers" at bay, until America could stand on its own feet.

So, the North is mostly white with significant immigrant white debt slavery.  The South is chattel slavery using africans.  Said African's are shipped to the south by Jewish slavers.  Owners of the big plantations become "aristocrats" who think they are god and deserve their easy life status.

So, in this context, Lincoln is not that bad of a guy.  He always said he feared the bankers to his rear the most.  Focus on that.

Without Lincoln, the West and South would be African, and a colonial member of England's economic system. 

The parasite jumped to U.S. at birth.  It fully metastasized in 1912 with progressive era reforms.  

Yog Soggoth's picture

Jackson seemed to figure it out even though his career started out as a soldier at twelve. Do they think that I am such a damned fool as to think myself fit for President of the United States? No, sir; know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way, but I am not fit to be President. That was before the Presidency that ended the central bank since 1841 until well after his death.

illuminatus's picture

Bunch of fucking clowns and criminals.

homonohumanus's picture

I follow Dr Pieczekik, he should not get the position.

Consuelo's picture



If it were a fair playing field, with one's opponents yielding to an ethical standard over ideology, then perhaps we could talk.

Alas, they can't.



Bend over Mc-Ass-kill, because right up yer ass with spikes, it comes.

williambanzai7's picture

Who gives a fuck what the minority P A R T Y thinks.

RightLineBacker's picture

Wow WB7!

World's best political artist.

And World's best at quickly "getting to the bottom line".

Love 'ya man.

Robert Trip's picture

McCain is against it so it must be good.

As for those posters here who are continually bitching about spam and calling everyone they disagree with a "Troll" may I suggest starting your own site, such as the Huffington Post, where intense moderation only allows comments through that don't ruffle the feathers of the clientele.

chunga's picture

You are such a dope. There is a big difference between spam, lots and lots of spam and fake accounts having fake dialogs, and disagreements.

Kicking off spammers who spam the site day and night and loiter to make their spam the first comment time after time is not "intense moderation" you bloody moron.

TwelveOhOne's picture


(Likely they aren't loitering -- their bot is.  Your point still stands though, it's "noise" being injected into the "signal" that we care so much about.)

Bay of Pigs's picture

It's fucking sickening and has driven may good posters away.

Lots of old timers are MIA here at the Hedge.