The proposed change would expand on the dramatic move Democrats made in 2013, when they killed the 60-vote hurdle for executive branch nominations and almost all judicial nominees. Republicans have complained bitterly about the Democrats’ action ever since, saying it violated the Senate’s tradition of being a deliberative body where the minority holds big sway. But now, GOP supporters contend, it may be time to bring majority rule to votes on Supreme Court nominations, too.
The 60-vote filibuster threshold would remain for legislation.
The change is nowhere near a done deal: The proposal has not been widely circulated among Senate Republicans, and its backers say they would make the change only if they can get 67 votes for it on the floor. That means they would need broad support first among Republicans, then with more than a dozen Democratic supporters. Both parties would have to buy in — after pondering whether the shift would help them or hurt them.