Republicans have said that if this happens, they will launch “the nuclear option” of changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster option for presidential appointments.
Schumer says that some Republicans will want to keep the traditional Senate perogative of unlimited debate (unless there is a 60 vote cloture), so he doesn’t think the Republicans can get the votes necessary to change the rule.
Photo of Chuck Schumer by y United States Senate – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/27720474940/in/album-72157667655342524/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56927097
From Burgess Everett and Elana Schorf, Schumer prepared to force nuclear showdown over Gorsuch – POLITICO:
Chuck Schumer is prepared to push the Senate into a nuclear confrontation over the Supreme Court.
In an extensive interview with POLITICO Thursday, the Senate minority leader made his most definitive statement to date that Democrats will deny Neil Gorsuch the 60 votes he needs to clear a Senate filibuster and ascend to the Supreme Court. Dismissing the notion of a deal to confirm Gorsuch floated by some members of his caucus this week, Schumer all but declared that Donald Trump’s nominee will not receive the requisite eight Democratic votes — and that it will be up to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell whether to try to blow up the filibuster to get Gorsuch through.
“There’s been an almost seismic shift in the caucus [against Gorsuch],” Schumer said as the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings wrapped up Thursday. “He did not win anybody over with his testimony.”
If Schumer stops Gorsuch during a filibuster vote in early April — and the New Yorker was brimming with confidence that he will — it will almost certainly force McConnell’s hand on the so-called “nuclear option.” Schumer is betting McConnell does not have the votes to do away with the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees.
“I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that Mitch McConnell changes the rules,” Schumer said. “There are people in his caucus who really don’t want to change the rules, OK?”