|Judge Neil Gorsuch accepting President Trump's nomination to U.S. Supreme Court|
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware announced today he would vote against the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That makes Coons the 41st vote opposing Judge Gorsuch, meaning the only way Senate Republicans can confirm him would be to use the so-called "nuclear option."
That would mean changing Senate rules to allow approval of judicial nominees with only a simple majority vote of 51. Currently, such appointments require 60 votes.
While the nuclear option would solve the Republicans' problems for now, at some point in the future when Democrats regain control of the chamber, they would then have the same power to approval such nominations with a simple majority.
Last year, Senate Republicans refused to hold a vote or hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland, who was tapped by President Obama in March after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.
At the time, Republicans said there shouldn't be SCOTUS nominations in an election year. Democrats argued the President is elected for four years, not three. And it is part of a president's responsibilities to nominate SCOTUS replacements.
A vote on the floor of the Senate is expected on Friday.