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Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Apr 6, 2017 at 11:02 a.m. ET.

This was the first of four significant votes on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice. This vote was the first vote on cloture for Gorsuch's nomination and took place under the old rules of the Senate in which a cloture vote on a Supreme Court nomination required 3/5ths of elected senators to vote in the affirmative.

A vote on cloture is a vote to limit further debate and move to an up-or-down vote, in other words to prevent a filibuster. With only 55 votes in favor, 5 short of the 60 required, the Democrats blocked cloture so that they could filibuster the nomination.

Following this vote, in Senate vote #109, the rule for cloture on Supreme Court nominations was changed to a simple majority. In Senate vote #110, the cloture vote was retaken under the new rules and with 55 votes again, 4 more than was needed on the second attempt, cloture was approved and further debate was limited. Gorsuch was confirmed in the final vote the following day.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, voted on the winning side -- against his true position -- strategically so that he could ask that the vote be re-taken later, after the Senate's rules had been changed.

Totals

All Votes R D I
Yea 55%
 
 
 
55
51
 
4
 
0
 
Nay 45%
 
 
 
45
1
 
42
 
2
 

Cloture Motion Rejected. 3/5 Required. Source: senate.gov.

The Yea votes represented 46% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

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Republican - Yea Democrat - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
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Notes: *Senate Majority Leader’s Vote “Aye” or “Yea”?
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