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FLASHBACK: Schumer Once Thought a Supreme Court Justice Didn’t Need 60 Votes

During the confirmation vote for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) conceded that a Supreme Court Justice doesn’t need 60 votes from the Senate to be confirmed.

“Without doubt, Judge Alito today has the votes to win confirmation,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. Judge Alito received 58 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.


But now Senate Minority Leader, Schumer is demanding 60 votes for a Supreme Court Justice to be confirmed by the Senate.

“If the Supreme Court nominee doesn’t earn 60 votes, the answer is not to change the rules, it is to change the nominee who can garner the 60 votes,” Schumer told reporters today after meeting with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. “Sixty votes means that it is almost definitionally a bipartisan, mainstream nominee, no matter which party the president that nominates that judge is from.”

It seems that Schumer had no issue with Justice Alito receiving fewer than 60 votes, but now that Schumer is Minority Leader, a Supreme Court nominee needs 60 votes to be confirmed.