Forget day-time soap operas or televised courtroom dramas, the showdown over the confirmation of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has made the U.S. Senate must-see TV. Given all the action that unfolded Thursday when Senate Republicans invoked the so-called nuclear option in an effort to push Trump's SCOTUS pick through, you might consider watching Gorsuch's Senate confirmation vote live on Friday.
Thanks to the Senate's floor webcast, you can hear every "yay" or "nay" vote cast when legislatures convene for the final confirmation vote on Gorsuch on Friday. Senate sessions can be watched live (or after the fact) via a live-stream hosted on the Senate's official website. After putting an end to Democrats' filibuster of Gorsuch through a series of votes Thursday, Senate Republicans appeared confident Gorsuch would be confirmed as the next Supreme Court judge sometime on Friday. "There will now be up to 30 hours of debate prior to the vote to confirm [Gorsuch]," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement released via Twitter on Thursday. "He will be our 9th SCOTUS Justice by tomorrow night."
More than a year after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death, the Senate finally moved toward filling his vacant seat on the Supreme Court earlier this week. With Senate Republicans unable to gather the 60 votes required to confirm a Supreme Court nominee and Democrats intent on filibustering Gorsuch's confirmation, Sen. McConnell led the GOP in invoking the so-called nuclear option Thursday afternoon.
In a 48-52 vote, Senate Republicans opted to change longstanding procedural rules, replacing the required 60-vote threshold established to ensure Supreme Court nominees garnered bipartisan support with a simple majority vote. Under the new rule, Senate Republicans could confirm Gorsuch to the Supreme Court with just 51 votes as early as Friday.
Although Senate Democrats remained firm in their efforts to block Gorsuch's confirmation, they also warned that an increasing atmosphere of rancor and partisanship in the Senate could mean that efforts to invoke the nuclear option would have repercussions far beyond just Gorsuch's nomination.
"The consequences for the Senate and for the future of the Supreme Court will be far-reaching," the Washington Post reported Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who'd unsuccessfully attempted to delay the Senate from moving ahead with a vote on the nuclear option, said prior to the vote Thursday. "The cooling saucer of the Senate will get considerably hotter."
While Gorsuch's final Senate confirmation vote isn't likely to be as action-packed as Thursday's vote to "go nuclear," it's still worth watching given the impact Gorsuch stands to have on the Supreme Court.