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Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Democrats officially have enough votes to force a filibuster over Neil Gorsuch


Democrats officially have enough votes to force a filibuster over Neil Gorsuch

WATCH  |  Circa's Kellan Howell reports on the "nuclear option."

UPDATE 3:11 p.m.:  Spicer said Trump backs use of the "nuclear option."

With Sen. Chris Coons (D-CT) announcing Monday he would not vote for cloture for Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Democrats have enough votes to force a filibuster on President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch needed 60 votes to be confirmed without the possibility of a filibuster. Currently, he has at most 59 votes. Senate Republicans have threatened the "nuclear option" of changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority to confirm Gorsuch, which would mark the first time that was needed for a Supreme Court confirmation.

Here's the moment Coons voted against Gorsuch.

The SCOTUS vote will be a political battle, and Republicans have the bigger weapon

WATCH | Here's more of how we got here.

Democrats have criticized Gorsuch's history of ruling. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he "represents the hard-right special interest wing of American politics." 

Others have acknowledged his legal talents, but said the seat belongs to Merrick Garland, whom former President Obama nominated. Senate Republicans blocked Garland from ever getting a Senate hearing, and they have vowed to confirm Gorsuch by any means necessary. 

Chris Coons.jpg
Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Chris Coons, D-Del., talks on a phone as he leaves briefing on the Administration?s response to the Syrian conflict, in a closed session in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The filibuster was long considered a possible tactic, but it was not clear it would be possible after several Democratic Senators opted to support Gorsuch. 

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