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Upon Reconsideration, 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 12:35 p.m. ET.

This was the third of four significant votes on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice. This vote was the second vote on cloture for Gorsuch's nomination and took place after the rules of the Senate were changed through the so-called "nuclear option."

A vote on cloture is a vote to limit further debate to 30 more hours so that an up-or-down vote can be taken, in other words to prevent a filibuster. With only 55 votes in favor, 5 short of the 60 required in the first cloture vote, the Democrats blocked cloture so that they could filibuster the nomination. In Senate vote #109, the rule for cloture on Supreme Court nominations was changed to a simple majority from a 3/5ths threshold.

A motion to reconsider was accepted, allowing the first cloture vote to be retaken.

Then, in this vote, the cloture vote was retaken under the new rules. With 55 votes again, now 4 more than was needed, cloture was approved and further debate was limited. (Sen. Michael Bennet voted for cloture in the first vote but against cloture in this second vote. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, voted on the winning side, against cloture, strategically in the first vote so that he could have the vote retaken, and voted for cloture in this second vote, knowing cloture would be adopted this time.)

Gorsuch was confirmed in the final vote the following day.


All Votes R D I
Yea 55%
Nay 45%

Cloture Motion Agreed to. Simple Majority Required. Source:

The Yea votes represented 47% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

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