Supreme Court Nominee

Texts, Baseball Bombshells and Snapper Fish: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 9, 2017

It was a busy couple of days on Capitol Hill this week, with the blitz to get to know Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in full swing, plus a House hearing on the 2016 texts of embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok and Speaker Paul D. Ryan talking about his car getting eaten by woodchucks.

Doing the SCOTUS Math: Seven Senators, Three Factions, One Crucial Vote
Penn Ave Report: Connecting Congress and the White House at the intersection of politics

What’s the Nuclear Option? Dismantling This Senate Jargon
 Roll Call Decoder with David Hawkings, wonky explainers from a Capitol Hill expert

Senators Look to Move Past Nuclear Option
Bipartisanship touted when they return from recess

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said lawmakers should move on to an issue with bipartisan support, such as improving infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are getting some time away from the nation’s capital for the next week and half, following a tense battle over the Supreme Court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option last Thursday to effectively change the Senate rules and lower the threshold for ending debate on high court nominees. While the move raised questions about whether the chamber had reached a partisan point of no return, senators were hopeful they could still come together on other issues.

Nuclear Option Deployed in Quiet Senate Chamber
Gravity of situation tempers reactions amid historic moment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" to allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday was a day for the Senate history books, but the ultimate change of the chamber’s rules for ending debate on Supreme Court justices was met with a quiet resignation.

Just after 12:30 p.m., the Senate clerk read the tally: 52 in the negative, 48 in the affirmative, overruling the presiding officer’s ruling that cloture, or ending debate, on Supreme Court justices required 60 votes.

McConnell Pledges Legislative Filibuster Is Here to Stay
Majority leader says there is no sentiment to change debate rules on legislation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he will not change the legislative filibuster. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Tuesday that there will not be an effort to change the debate rules surrounding legislation, even as senators are hurtling towards a rule change on Supreme Court nominees.

“There’s no sentiment to change the legislative filibuster,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters at his weekly press conference. Asked if he was committing to not changing the rules to end debate on legislation while he is the GOP leader, McConnell said, “Correct.”