Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer indicated his party could revisit the option of changing the process to confirm a Supreme Court justice.
Following the controversy which has surrounded the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh, Schumer said if Democrats retake majorities in November, then they could restore the 60-vote threshold to confirm a justice to the nation’s highest court.
This would require an additional 9 votes from the rules today which require a simple majority (51 votes) of the legislative body.
From Washington Examiner:
When asked by a reporter Tuesday if Democrats might make that change, the New York Democrat said his conference would “have to look at that.”
“The bottom line is that the Republican leader moved it down … and the bottom line is that we’ll have to look at that should we get back into the majority,” Schumer said during his weekly press conference.
SCHUMER: of Dems take over the Senate, we will have to look at setting the SCOTUS nominee requirement back up to 60 votes
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) October 2, 2018
The decision to lower the vote-requirement to 51 votes was made by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell during the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
McConnell exercised what is called the “nuclear option” to bypass Democrat efforts to delay, obstruct, and resist the nominee.
From the report:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., changed the rules in 2017 to allow Justice Neil Gorsuch and future Supreme Court nominees to advance to a final vote with a 51-vote majority, instead of the 60-vote supermajority that had been in place.
McConnell’s move came four years after then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lowered the same cloture threshold for lower court nominees to 51 votes, known as the “nuclear option,” in order to bypass a GOP blockade on nominees.
As Washington Examiner also reports, some people could interpret the comment as Schumer’s belief that no Democrats will support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, limiting his vote tally to 51 votes.
It is believed that the decision will largely fall along partisan lines with some red-state Democrats jumping sides to vote in favor of the former D.C. appellate court judge.
“Let’s not forget where so many of us objected to Judge Kavanaugh, what many of the Democrats are looking at,” Schumer added. “1.) Will he protect women’s health? 2.) Will he make sure that pre-existings in healthcare is preserved, and 3.) will he serve as a check and balance to a president who often overreaches. If people are convinced on any of those three, I believe that we will have a bipartisan majority to defeat Judge Kavanaugh.”
Schumer also called for the release of the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh a full 24 hours before the Senate is scheduled to vote on him.
JUST IN: Top Senate Democrat Schumer seeks briefing on FBI inquiry of Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh at least 24 hours before Senate vote pic.twitter.com/xrszfqkkXK
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) October 2, 2018
Schumer tells McConnell he wants a FBI briefing on Kavanaugh rpt 24 hrs before Senate votes on cloture to end debate on the nomination.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 2, 2018
NEW: Sen. Chuck Schumer urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “arrange a briefing for all Senators by the FBI on its supplemental background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.” https://t.co/k85Tja4oGn pic.twitter.com/OsTmNOCGeg
— ABC News (@ABC) October 2, 2018