© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

Ohio's Sen. Portman Will Vote For The Nuclear Option to Force a Gorsuch Vote

a photo of Rob Portman

Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman has confirmed he will vote with other Republicans to force a vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports he insists it’s a very different situation than last year, when Republicans refused to vote on another nominee.

Portman said he’ll vote for the so-called the nuclear option, which will lower the threshold to break a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee from 60 to 51. He says he regrets a further division in the Senate, but insists Gorsuch is well-qualified and deserves a vote.

He also says circumstances are different than last March, when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. The difference, Portman says, was that it was a campaign year.

“Now someone’s elected; the people have spoken. It was a very big issue in the campaign. It was the reason some people supported Hillary Clinton. It’s the reason some people supported Donald Trump.”

Click here for a fact-check on Garland, the Senate and the 'nuclear option.'

Portman insists Gorsuch is a moderate. But most Democrats, including Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown, say his decisions have consistently promoted corporate interests over civil rights and worry about how he’ll weigh in on voting rights cases.