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Politics Fact check: Republicans, not Democrats, eliminated the Senate filibuster on Supreme Court nominees

02:15  02 october  2020
02:15  02 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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But Democrats changed Senate filibuster rules first. Eliminating the filibuster for presidential nominees . In 2013, Senate Democrats — then in the majority — triggered the Supreme Court nominations have long been contentious — past rulings were poured over, qualifications dissected

Republicans voted to end the filibuster of Supreme Court nominations , setting the stage for the rapid elevation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the high court and removing a pillar of The Senate invoked the ‘nuclear option’ to change the rules on how many votes are required on Supreme Court nominees .

The claim: Former Sen. Harry Reid orchestrated the 'nuclear option' to lower the vote threshold for Supreme Court confirmations to 51

Mitch McConnell wearing a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Aug. 4, 2020, in Washington, D.C. © Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Aug. 4, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

As Democrats lament the possible confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, some Republicans tried to tell them that they have no one to blame but themselves.

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Senate Republicans nuked a precedent requiring 60 votes to end filibusters of Supreme Court nominees in Republicans blame Democrats because they eliminated the filibuster for Joe Manchin is one of a handful of Democrats who voted to end a filibuster on Gorsuch, criticized the

Senate Democrats filibustered the nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and Republicans changed Senate rules to bypass the Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democrat leader, called the nuclear option “the end of a long history of consensus on Supreme Court nominations ”

Alongside a photo of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a user took to Facebook to "remind" Americans what Reid did in 2013.

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"You see prior to 2013 it took 60 votes in the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, now it takes a simple majority of 51. Know why? Because Harry Reid and his fellow Democratic senators voted to change the rule to 51, it was called the 'nuclear option' and they pushed that button," the post read.

The post also noted that at the time, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., — now the majority leader — spoke out against the change.

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After Democrats successfully filibustered Judge Neil Gorsuch, Republicans made the choice to forever alter the way judges are appointed to to the “This will be the first and last partisan filibuster of the Supreme Court ,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor

Furious Republicans accused Democrats of a power grab, warning them that they would deeply regret their action if they lost control of the Senate next Under the change, the Senate will be able to cut off debate on executive and judicial branch nominees with a simple majority rather than rounding up a

"So all you Democrats, if it wasn't for your party changing the rule in 2013 you would now have the votes to stop Trump from replacing Ginsburg," the post continued. "If you want to blame somebody for screwing you out of the chance to stop Trump from filling this seat, you can put the blame right where it belongs, your own party and the people you elected to run it."

The user behind the post did not respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.

Fact check: Post online satirizes Judge Amy Coney Barrett in 'yearbook' photo with fake quote

In 2013, Reid and Democrats lowered vote threshold on most nominees, but not for Supreme Court picks

In 2013, Democrats held a majority in the Senate while President Barack Obama occupied the White House.

For four decades, a 60-vote supermajority had been required to advance all federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments, per The Washington Post.

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Historically, Supreme Court nominations , in great disproportion to their number, have attracted the Madison suffered major Senate rejections, one to the Supreme Court and one to his cabinet. The Court soon proved unfriendly to the aims of the Radical Republicans in Congress, and those

The Supreme Court filibuster is basically the last and only weapon that Democrats have at their disposal to challenge the Trump administration in any possible effort to remake our federal courts into what would likely be deeply regressive bodies on everything from reproductive health, voting rights

Then, Senate Republicans attempted to filibuster multiple Obama nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, his pick for Defense secretary, and his choices to lead the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In response, Reid orchestrated a move to lower the Senate vote threshold to 51 to confirm most presidential appointments — but not nominees to the Supreme Court.

Those nominees, and legislation, could still be filibustered.

The Democrat-controlled Senate voted 52-48 in favor of the change, which was dubbed the "nuclear option."

At the time, McConnell condemned the move.

“It’s a sad day in the history of the Senate,” he told reporters, calling it a “power grab" by Democrats.

In 2017, McConnell and Republicans lowered the threshold for nominees to the Supreme Court, too

By 2017, roles had reversed — Republicans held the majority in the Senate, and President Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office.

After Senate Democrats, now in the minority, filibustered the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch — Trump's first nominee to the Supreme Court — McConnell engineered his own "nuclear option."

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In 2013, Senate Democrats changed the filibuster rules so that just a simple majority is needed to confirm most judicial nominations . To sum up, McCain and Cruz are right: Senate Republicans can block a Supreme Court nominee for as long as they want.

Democrats have vigorously opposed any nomination before November's election, arguing that Senate The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, sent a tweet repeating his exact phrase If the Republican nominee for the Supreme Court is a woman, this could also be a way for him to

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-48 to reduce the vote threshold for confirming nominees to the Supreme Court from 60 to 51, per The New York Times.

(The need for a 60-vote supermajority still exists for legislation.)

Again, both sides played the blame game.

“This is the latest escalation in the left’s never-ending judicial war, the most audacious yet,” McConnell said, of Democratic efforts to filibuster the Gorsuch high court nomination.

Schumer, meanwhile, said that when "history weighs what happened," the responsibility will rest on McConnell and Republicans.

“They have had other choices,” he said. “They have chosen this one.”

Fact check: No evidence Schumer called Judge Amy Coney Barrett 'wildly out of mainstream'

Our rating: False

We rate this claim FALSE, based on research. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was not responsible for lowering the vote threshold to confirm Supreme Court nominees to 51. Rather, he orchestrated that change for judicial nominees and presidential appointments, excluding the Supreme Court. When control of the Senate changed parties, it was Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who extended the rule change to apply to nominees to the Supreme Court in 2017.

Our fact-check sources:

  • The Washington Post, Nov. 21, 2013, Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees
  • The New York Times, April 6, 2017, Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch
  • USA TODAY, Sept. 26, Amy Coney Barrett: Talented judge, popular professor brings solid conservative credentials
  • USA TODAY, Sept. 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Second woman on Supreme Court had been nation's leading litigator for women's rights

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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Republicans, not Democrats, eliminated the Senate filibuster on Supreme Court nominees

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usr: 1
This is interesting!