Republicans should not hesitate to use ‘nuclear option’

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in the U.S. Senate appear to have declared the equivalent of political war on the nomination of federal Judge Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. They have vowed to mount a filibuster to block a vote on Gorsuch.

Schumer, D-N.Y., has suggested the best option for President Donald Trump may be to drop Gorsuch and try another nominee.

That would be ridiculous. Gorsuch clearly is a qualified, apolitical candidate for the high court. The only acceptable alternative for Schumer and company would be an avowed liberal ready to legislate from the bench.

Under normal Senate rules, it would take 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, and Republicans backing Gorsuch may not be able to muster that super-majority.

But under what ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dubbed “the nuclear option” just a few years ago, a simple majority of 51 votes would stop a filibuster.

Reid used the “nuclear option.” Republicans should not hesitate to use the technique Schumer’s party pioneered.