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Neil Gorsuch confirmation vote process begins — live updates

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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to use the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees
FILE – In this Wednesday, March 22, 2017, file photo, Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch listens as he is asked a question by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, on Capitol Hill in Washington, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Last Updated Apr 6, 2017 11:20 AM EDT
The Senate will vote around 11 a.m. to end debate on President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.
This is a procedural vote that requires 60 votes to advance his nomination, but Republicans do not have enough support to get over that threshold. Forty-four Senate Democrats have said they would filibuster his nomination, voting against ending or limiting debate.
Immediately following the failed procedural vote on Thursday morning, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to move to change the Senate rules through a series of parliamentary moves and procedural votes eliminating filibusters for Supreme Court nominees – also known as the nuclear option. A vote to change the rules would be a simple majority vote. The rules change would lower the current 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority.
Under the new rules, the Senate will then take a simple majority procedural vote to limit debate to 30 hours on the nomination.
Follow our live updates below.
11:19 a.m. Senate Democrats have the 41 votes to filibuster Gorsuch’s nomination, which will soon prompt McConnell to begin a series of procedural votes to change Senate rules and eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.
11:04 a.m. Following this vote, Senate Majority Leader McConnell is expected to begin the process of changing the rules of the Senate to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees. The rules change votes will be simple majority votes.
11:02 a.m. The Senate is now holding the cloture vote to advance Gorsuch’s nomination. This vote is expected to fail since the GOP needs 60 votes, but 43 Democrats have said they will oppose the move to end or limit debate.
10:54 a.m. ET Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, is speaking on the floor and said that when history weighs what happened, “The responsibility for changing the rules will fall on the Republicans and Leader McConnell’s shoulders.
He said that the elimination of the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees “means the end of a long history of consensus on Supreme Court nominees” and weakens the standing of the Senate as a whole.
CBS News’ John Nolen contributed to this live-blog.
Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.
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