FILE - In this March 22, 2017, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks during his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is headed for confirmation after Republicans tore up the Senate's voting rules to allow him to ascend to the high court over furious Democratic objections.The 60-vote filibuster requirement on Supreme Court nominees was effectively gone, and with it the last vestige of bipartisanship on presidential nominees in an increasingly polarized Senate.Then in 2013, with Democrats in charge and Republicans blocking President Barack Obama's nominees, the Democrats did take the step, removing the filibuster for all presidential appointments except the Supreme Court.Democrats were unable to pull back from the brink, partly because they remain livid over McConnell's decision last year to block Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, who was denied even a hearing after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 .Even as Graham and other senior Republicans lamented the voting change, McConnell and some allies argued that all they were doing was returning to a time, not long ago, when filibusters of judicial nominees were unusual, and it was virtually unheard-of to try to block a Supreme Court nominee in that fashion.
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