Senate Republicans were forced to use the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch, widely considered to be a sterling pick for the position. Future nominees could undergo even more public scrutiny as Democrats consider the results that could come from an even more conservative Supreme Court.
“Imagine if in a year or so Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, or Kennedy leave the Court,” Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, wrote on Election Law Blog.
“Then things get MUCH worse from the point of view of progressives. Then Roberts becomes the swing voter and there goes affirmative action, abortion rights, etc. If you think things with the Supreme Court are bad for progressive now they can get much, much worse.”
But some Republicans, already squeamish about using the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch, may step back from repeating the procedure, opening the door to debate on future nominees, Hason explained, suggesting, “At that point, people can take to the streets and exert public pressure.”
Following the nuclear option used to confirm Gorsuch, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said there would be no incentive for future nominees to even speak to minority lawmakers.