Democrats could be taking a big risk if they filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, reports The Hill. Republicans have threatened to invoke the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules so that Supreme Court nominees cannot be filibustered. After that, Gorsuch would only need 51 votes to get confirmed. Because the rules change would apply to future Supreme Court nominees, it could ease the way for President Trump to nominate another justice who is further to the right than Gorsuch, a possibility that is weighing on some Democrats.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) warned Democratic donors at a fundraiser that filibustering Gorsuch could backfire on Democrats if “God forbid Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, or Anthony Kennedy retires or Stephen Breyer has a stroke or is no longer able to serve.” Ginsburg and Kennedy are in their 80s, and Breyer will be 79 in August. All three justices are reliably liberal votes. “Then we’re not talking about [the late conservative Justice Antonin] Scalia for Scalia, which is what Gorsuch is, we’re talking about Scalia for somebody on the court who shares our values,” McCaskill said, according to audio the Kansas City Star obtained from the Missouri Republican Party. At the fundraiser McCaskill called Gorsuch “one of the better ones.” She is up for reelection in 2018 in a state Trump won.