There Is No 60-Vote Standard for Supreme Court Nominees

In an effort to justify their unprecedented and baseless opposition to Judge Gorsuch's nomination for the Supreme Court, some Democrats have claimed that there is a 60-vote baseline for confirming Supreme Court nominees in the Senate.  This is to avoid the charge that they are filibustering Judge Gorsuch, which will likely prompt Leader McConnell to exercise the constitutional option or "Reid Rule" and change the Senate rules on Supreme Court nominations.  

The problem with this 60-vote standard is, of course, that it does not exist: “A confirmation vote for a Supreme Court nominee requires only a simple majority, or 51 votes.” (“Sanders On SCOTUS Filibuster,, 2/6/17) 

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “Democrats are being slippery with their language. Sixty votes is not ‘a standard’ for Supreme Court confirmations, as two of the current justices on the court did not meet that supposed standard.” (“Senate Democrats’ Misleading Language On A 60-Vote ‘Standard’ For Supreme Court Nominees,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, 2/2/17) . . . 

No Democrats now serving in the Senate have EVER insisted that a Democrat President’s SCOTUS nominee meet a 60-vote standard. “…that was not the case for the two Supreme Court justices nominated by Obama and approved by the Senate. . . . (“Sanders On SCOTUS Filibuster,, 2/6/2017) . . . The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States did NOT require 60 votes.(PN506 Sonia Sotomayor, Roll Call Vote #262, 8/6/2009) . . .  [and the] nomination of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States did NOT require 60 votes.(PN1768 Elena Kagan, Roll Call Vote #229, 8/25/2010)

Indeed, both Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito were confirmed with fewer than 60 votes in favor.  The Democrats will continue touting fallacious liberal talking points supplied by radical progressive activists as unfounded reasons to oppose Judge Gorsuch, but this 60-vote threshold claim really should be laid to rest.