"Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for almost four decades", the Washington Post reported at the time in 2013.
"We are at a historic moment in the history of the United States Senate" due to actions by both parties, Coons said. And despite claims from Schumer and others that Trump and Republicans could go back to the drawing board and come up with a more "mainstream" nominee, it seems unlikely that any nominee produced by Trump would win Democrats' approval. In another $1 million ad campaign, it is urging Donnelly, McCaskill and two other Democratic senators from states won by Trump to protect gun rights by supporting Gorsuch.
But under what ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dubbed "the nuclear option" just a few years ago, a simple majority of 51 votes would stop a filibuster.
For years, the Senate, backboned by longstanding members such as Joe Biden of DE, the former vice president, Edward Kennedy of MA, and Ted Stevens of Alaska, held tightly to its reputation as a close-knit governing body where personal relationships could overcome policy differences.
A Senate panel approved Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Monday, sending President Trump's pick to the full Senate where a ferocious battle looms that could forever alter how the chamber fulfills its constitutionally-mandated role of advice and consent.
"Democrats are now being pushed by far-left interest groups into doing something truly detrimental to this body and to our country", McConnell said on the Senate floor. He said Democrats had worked to try and find fault with him, but "that fault will not stick".
Coons, Feinstein, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Mark Warner of Virginia all said for the first time Monday that they'd vote to block.
Trump Continues to Randomly Attack Hillary Clinton on Twitter
Such awesome reporting on unmasking and the crooked scheme against us by @foxandfriends . "Spied on before nomination". Hillary Clinton answers a question from an audience member at a New Hampshire town hall event in 2015.
"Judge Gorsuch is eminently qualified", said the committee's chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican.
Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY, have vowed to block the nominee, infuriating Republicans, who argue the action is exceedingly rare for Supreme Court choices. "After carefully reviewing his record and listening to his testimony last week in the Senate judiciary committee, I have concluded that supporting the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court is not in the best interests of the people of MI, whom I am proud to represent".
The next vacancy the president fills will likely tip the balance of the court.
The Senate on Tuesday kicked off its formal debate on confirming Gorsuch, a Colorado-based appeals court judge, and McConnell said he would get the clock ticking towards a vote expected on Thursday to stop the Democrats' filibuster.
Gorsuch's appointment is also opposed by Democrat Sen.
"A Supreme Court justice should have broad support", Warren said. Montana Democrat Jon Tester, who likes to portray himself as a centrist, announced that he'll oppose the judge for what he didn't say.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Senate Democrats will have their weekly closed-door lunch, where they expect to get guidance from leadership on how they should treat the next few days leading up to and during the rules change and the votes, including whether they undertake some sort of coordinated visual protest like signs or pins.