The Senate just voted to change the rules of the filibuster, paving the way for Neal Gorsuch to be confirmed by the chamber this week.
In a near party-line vote, 48-52, the Republicans were able to evoke the “nuclear option.” The vote was on whether or not to retain the 60-vote rule on filibusters or to do away with them for a Supreme Court nominee, with 52 Senators voting against the measure to keep it. The Senate then re-opened the vote on limiting debate on Gorsuch, which will lead to a Friday vote to confirm him to the nation’s highest court.
This marks the second major filibuster change in the Senate procedure in recent years, with the first being Harry Reid’s use of the nuclear option on November 21, 2013. Many pundits on both sides of the political aisle, however, have mourned the loss of the filibuster as a tool in Senate debate.