WASHINGTON,D.C.—Monday it became official that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has the necessary 41 senators publicly committed to filibuster Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, meaning that now the future of the nation’s highest court hangs on Republicans getting 50 votes for the constitutional option.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In conjunction with the committee vote on Gorsuch—who was recommended favorably to the Senate by a party-line 11-9 vote—Coons announced that he would join Schumer’s filibuster.
Coons is a liberal Democrat, but had previously signaled that he might consider some sort of negotiated outcome regarding the way forward for the high Court. So while his announcement was not unexpected, it was still vitally important.
With Coons, there are now 41 votes for a filibuster. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster in the 100-member Senate, so Coons became the magic number that puts Schumer over the top.