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News Link • Justice and Judges

Dems claim votes to block Gorsuch;

• ap.org By ERICA WERNER and MARY CLARE JALONICK

Democrats claimed the votes they needed Monday to block President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, but the victory was only fleeting, setting up a historic showdown with Republicans who intend to rewrite Senate rules and muscle Neil Gorsuch onto the high court.

The coming fight was assured as the bitterly divided Judiciary Committee voted 11-9, along party lines, to send Gorsuch's nomination to the full Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has vowed he will be confirmed on Friday.

Short of the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles, McConnell is ready to lead Republicans in a unilateral voting change so significant in the rules-conscious Congress that it's been dubbed the "nuclear option," lowering the confirmation threshold to a filibuster-proof simple majority in the 100-member Senate.

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