US President Donald Trump urged Senate Republicans to take the so-called “nuclear option” to prevent Democrats from using a filibuster to block his Supreme Court pick, media reports said.
“If we end up with that gridlock I would say if you can, Mitch, go nuclear,” Trump said of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.
“It’s up to Mitch, but I would say go for it,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying about his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, 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.
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.
Trump announced on 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 US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, is the youngest nominee in 25 years to the lifetime position.
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”.
The U.S. Supreme Court has been evenly divided between Democratic appointees and Republican ones since Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly died last February.