Republican senator predicts next Supreme Court fight will be 'armageddon'

A Republican senator has predicted the Senate will erupt in an epic partisan battle soon -- not over the current Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but over the next Supreme Court vacancy.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch made the projection on Thursday, on the same day that Senate Republicans went enacted the 'nuclear option' -- changing long-standing rules to now prohibit a filibuster against Supreme Court nominees.

"The next one, one way or another, can change the court pretty dramatically. If I was the Democrats, I would have concentrated on that," Hatch told reporters, according to The Hill. "For the life of me, I don't know why Democrats made such a fuss about this one. They look stupid."

SEE ALSO: GOP 'goes nuclear,' ends Democratic blockade of Trump's Supreme Court pick

Democrats sparked the process leading to the nuclear option when they chose to filibuster Gorsuch.

"If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes — a bar met by each of President Obama's nominees and George Bush's last two nominees — the answer isn't to change the rules. It's to change the nominee," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters when he announced the decision in March.

Inside the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

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Inside the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch
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Inside the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch
With his wife Louise looking on,U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017.
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017.
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017.
Former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) (from L) and Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch's wife Marie Louise Gorsuch listen to opening statements from fellow senators during the first day of Gorsuch's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
With his wife Louise looking on, U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
With his wife Louise (2ndL) and former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (L) looking on,U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Neil Gorsuch (C) leaves after his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing as US President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill, in Washington March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool
Neil Gorsuch takes an oath during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing as US President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill, in Washington March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch is embraced by his wife Marie Louise after he thanked her in his opening statement at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Neil Gorsuch takes an oath during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing as US President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill, in Washington March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch looks at his papers as he delivers his opening remarks at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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With the change in rules, Republicans will be able to confirm Gorsuch with a simple majority. He will fill the vacancy made by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Hatch said he expects the next Supreme Court vacancy to be "armageddon" and added that if President Donald Trump has the opportunity to nominate another justice, the Supreme Court could be in a "conservative mood for a long time."

Two current Supreme Court justices are in their 80s -- Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- and Justice Stephen Breyer is 78.

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