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Reuters Incorrectly Reports Senate ‘Requires’ 60 Votes For Supreme Court Nominees

The news service is the latest to perpetuate the fake news myth that works to Democrats’ benefit…

An early morning report from Reuters incorrectly stated the vote threshold needed for a Supreme Court nominee to be confirmed by the Senate.

In the midst of its Gorsuch coverage, the news agency claimed that “the Senate requires confirmation of Supreme Court justices by 60 votes.”

Gorsuch is assured of support from the Republicans who hold 52 seats in the 100-member Senate. But the Senate requires confirmation of Supreme Court justices by 60 votes, meaning Gorsuch would need the backing of eight Democrats.

If the Democrats stand firmly together and oppose Gorsuch, Republicans could reach for the “nuclear option” and change the Senate rules to allow confirmation by a simple majority vote. That is a step some senators are reluctant to take.

The authors of this piece, like many others perpetuating this “fake news” myth, are conflating the filibuster vote, which requires 60 votes to dismiss, with the actual vote to confirm. NBC News actually sets the record straight in a piece from January:

To be confirmed, the nominee needs a simple majority in the Senate. But Supreme Court nominees — at least as of now — can be still filibustered, which means that 60 senators must vote to keep the nomination alive.

So, if one wanted to prove whether NBC News or Reuters is correct, how would one do it? Let’s go to the court! Two current Supreme Court justices garnered less than 60 votes and have been serving on the court for more than 30 years combined.

Justice Samuel Alito earned a seat on the court with a 58-42 vote in the Senate back in 2006. Similarly, Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court with a 52-48 Senate vote in 1991.

Reuters’ sloppy reporting, though not unique to them, only serves to further undercut the public’s already-strained trust in the media.