- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2017

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that GOP leaders will go “nuclear” to overcome a filibuster of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court and blamed Democrats for turning the confirmation of judges into a purely partisan exercise.

Mr. Graham said Democrats have left Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, with no other choice other than to lower the 60-vote filibuster threshold for confirmation to a simple majority.

“We will have a partisan vote on every federal judges — at least on the circuit and Supreme Court level,” Mr. Graham said. “Reaching across the aisle will be a thing of the past. You will get more ideological judges and it makes every Senate seat a referendum on the future of the Supreme Court. That is what happens when you do it in on party.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, has argued that President Trump should nominate another judge if Mr. Gorsuch cannot win 60 votes.

“We are not changing the nominee,” Mr. Graham said. “There is nothing wrong with Neil Gorsuch. What is wrong is the Senate.”

Mr. Graham voted in favor of confirming Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010 — two of President Obama’s picks.

Democrats are upset that Republicans did not hold hearings or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, who Mr. Obama nominated early last year following the death of Antonin Scalia.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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