The word “nuclear” has no positive association and Senators deciding to use the nuclear option shouldn’t either. The nuclear option has only been used twice in American history once in 2013 and once on April 7th, 2017 to confirm the next Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch.
When the Nuclear Option is used the amount of votes needed to pass a candidate drops from 60 votes to 51, a simple majority. The Senate is composed of both Republicans and Democrats, right now there are 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents.
In simpler terms, the majority does not need a single opposition vote for a candidate to be appointed to an elected position.
The option can prevent filibusters invoked by either Republicans or Democrats but there is a reason it has only been used twice, it dramatically shifts Senate rules. In 2013, the nuclear option was used to push Obama’s cabinet picks to confirmation after allegations of Senators opposing candidates solely on party affiliation.
In the Gorsuch case the nuclear option was much more severe, the senate in 2013 ruled against the option being used to confirm supreme court nominees and with good reason. Supreme court judges hold power for longer than any cabinet pick and are only removed under extreme circumstances. It is no secret that the constitution can be read many different ways and the Supreme Court is the final deciding vote on whether or not a contentious case is constitutional.
Famous Supreme court cases include; “Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Dred Scott v. Stanford”. Does it feel right that a Supreme Court Judge that will make decisions as the ones listed above not have to impress a single opposite party representative?The Nuclear option being used in this instance is a shocking step away from democracy but it does fit the current motif in American politics and especially the Republican party; if they don’t agree, do not compromise, flip the bird, accuse them of a scandal, and then find a way to do whatever the hell you want to.