U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Senate Republicans to take the so-called “nuclear option” to prevent Democrats from using a filibuster to block his Supreme Court pick.

“If we end up with that gridlock I would say if you can, Mitch, go nuclear,” Trump said of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“It’s up to Mitch, but I would say go for it,” Trump told a group supporters of his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuc, a judge sitting on federal appeals court in Denver, Colorado.

Taking the so-called nuclear option, Senate Republicans could bypass the possible boycott from the Democrats if they seek for a filibuster which needs 60 votes to break.

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Then they can proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination that only requires a majority to confirm.

Both Republicans and Democrats have long resisted doing so as it would change the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees in the future as well, said a CNN report.

Senate Democrats in 2013 moved to eliminate the filibuster for Cabinet nominations and lower court judges, but did not include Supreme Court nominations as part of that action.

Trump announced Tuesday night he picks Gorsuch as the new justice for the Supreme Court, a crucial move to reinvigorate the court’s conservative bloc.

Gorsuch, a 49-year-old judge sitting on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, is the youngest nominee in 25 years to the lifetime position.

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In quick response, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted Trump’s choice as “a very hostile appointment” and “a very bad decision, well outside the mainstream of American legal thought.”

She said Senate Democrats, holding 48 seats in the Senate, should apply the “strongest scrutiny” during Gorsuch’s confirmation, but didn’t mention if Democrats should filibuster Gorsuch.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been evenly divided between Democratic appointees and Republican ones since Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly died last February.

Earlier this month, several Senate Democrats vowed to block any nominee picked by Trump other than Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by President Barack Obama but refused by Senate Republicans last year. Enditem

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Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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