Crimes & Courts

About two dozen Ohio Republicans who support President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court took their message to the Statehouse earlier today.

This is how the Senate changes — not with a bang, but with a motion to overturn the ruling of the chair.

By a simple majority vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set a new precedent in the Senate that will ease the confirmation for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Friday, after 30 more hours of debate on the floor.

"This will be the first, and last, partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court justice," said McConnell in a closing floor speech.

Thursday is the day the judicial filibuster in the Senate is scheduled to die. There hasn't been much of an effort to save it, but there have been a lot of lamentations for the slow demise of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body (WGDB), otherwise known as the U.S. Senate.

Here are five insights into what the death of the judicial filibuster means:

1. The winners and losers

Rob Portman
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Sen. Rob Portman says he's hopeful Congress will be able to vote this week on Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, without invoking the so-called "nuclear" option—but he'd support it as a last result. 

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Forty-one Democratic senators have now publicly announced that they will vote against ending debate this week on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means Republicans cannot at this time clear the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination. It also sets up an historic vote to end the Senate's filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Apr 3, 2017
Ohio Statehouse in Columbus
Alexander Smith / Wikimedia Commons

GOP Ohio lawmakers are working to pass legislation that will help curb the opiate epidemic in the state. Ohio had the most opioid-related overdose deaths in the country in 2014, with prescription opioids accounting for 22 percent of those deaths. The bill will prevent doctors from over-prescribing opiates and will require state officials to make available online patient education and counseling resources. Today we'll discuss this and the latest in state and national news with a panel of reporters. 

Guests:

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

Political Junkie Ken Rudin

Mar 31, 2017
President Donald Trump announcing Judge Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee at the White House on January 31st, 2017.
White House Official Photographer / Wikipedia Commons

As Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation vote for Supreme Court draws closer, it's becoming apparent that Democrats are prepared to filibuster. If he does not get the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate, Republicans could invoke the "nuclear option" and create a rule change that would allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with just a simple majority. Join us as we discuss this and the latest in political news with Ken Rudin. 

Guest:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the state of Texas has been using an unconstitutional and obsolete medical standard for determining whether those convicted of murder are exempt from the death penalty because of mental deficiency.

The 5-to-3 decision came in the case of Bobby James Moore, who killed a store clerk in Houston in 1980 during a botched robbery.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

On the final day of the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Senate Democratic leader announced his opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Chuck Schumer said Gorsuch "will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation," setting up a showdown with Republican leaders who may attempt to change Senate rules.

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