After a successful Democratic filibuster of Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump‘s nominee to the Supreme Court, Republicans have changed Senate rules to allow for cloture (the formal ending of debate) with a simple majority instead of 60 votes.
Republicans currently have 52 votes to the Democrats 48, meaning Gorsuch is expected to ascend to the Supreme Court with little difficulty when the Senate votes on Friday. Despite this seeming victory, few Republicans seem to be happy with the new status quo. After the rules change vote Republican Senator John McCain told reporters “I fear that someday we will regret what we are about to do. In fact, I am confident we will,”
Gorsuch is considered by Court watchers to be very qualified, but also very conservative—more conservative than the late Antonin Scalia whom he is expected to replace—but Democratic opposition to Gorsuch has less to do with ideology than an objection to what many percieve to be the theft of a Supreme Court Seat that rightfully belongs to Barack Obama’s nominee to the bench, Merrick Garland.