Poll: Democrats shouldn't block President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch


Senate Democrats began planning to filibuster President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch almost immediately after the announcement, but that may not be what Americans want.

A recent AOL News poll shows the majority of people surveyed do not think Democrats should try to block the president's Supreme Court nominee. Of the thousands polled, 58 percent said Democrats should not endure the extreme measures that would be necessary to block Gorsuch from being confirmed to the position.

Just 38 percent of respondents believe Democratic lawmakers should attempt to block Gorsuch, and 5 percent said they weren't sure.

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But even if Democrats were to try to filibuster, Republicans still have the ability to stop them -- using what's generally referred to as the "nuclear option."

It's a little complicated, but here's how it works: While it only takes a simple majority to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, the minority party has the ability to delay that up-or-down vote on a nominee by filibustering. It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster -- called a cloture vote, which means Democrats, with 48 votes, can block the Senate from voting to confirm Gorsuch by voting against confirming Gorsuch.

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But Republicans have the aforementioned "nuclear option" at their disposal, allowing them to essentially reinterpret the rules of the Senate to move forward. This choice is expected to have catastrophic impacts on the relationships of the Senate -- which are traditionally quite cordial, even across parties -- which is how it earned the name "nuclear."

But President Trump has endorsed it. "If we end up with that gridlock I would say, 'If you can, Mitch, go nuclear,'" he said in a tweet last week.

A number of Democratic lawmakers have been outspoken with their disapproval of Trump's selection to fill the late Antonin Scalia's vacant seat, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer penned an op-ed on Tuesday hinting at a possible filibuster, warning Gorusch would need 60 votes to pass. He also said he had "serious, serious concerns" about the nominee after their meeting on Tuesday.

"I thought there was a deliberate strategy to duck the hard questions. And he has an obligation to answer them, not simply to the Senate but to the American people," Schumer said.

As the vote draws nearer, the Democrats need to rally as much support as possible, but at least one Democratic lawmaker has expressed wanting to see Trump's nomination pass. Shortly after Trump's announcement, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said "I'm not going to filibuster anybody."