Sign if you agree: Sen. Schumer should threaten to use the nuclear option and end the filibuster

Senator Chuck Schumer

UPDATE (Wednesday, March 16, 2016 11:15 ET): President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court seat.

It took Republicans no time at all after Justice Antonin Scalia's death to abandon any pretense at decorum and immediately proclaim that President Obama should ignore his constitutional duty and not fill Justice Scalia's seat, keeping it open for the next president to fill.

It's a ridiculous and insulting stance but one with weight' there's no law or Senate rule that can compel GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on anyone President Obama might nominate. Moreover, even if Republicans lose both the Senate and the White House this November, they could still filibuster any Supreme Court pick that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders might put forward in 2017.

That means, if he wanted, Senator McConnell can hold the Supreme Court hostage with his partisan games indefinitely.

Sign the petition: Tell Senator Schumer to threaten the nuclear option and end the filibuster once and for all.

In 2013, when Senate Democrats eliminated the use of filibusters for most presidential appointments, they kept them in place for Supreme Court nominations. Therefore, Republicans can use the filibuster to keep the Supreme Court split between four liberal and four conservative justices for as long as they hold the Senate' regardless of who holds the presidency.

With the Supreme Court hearing cases that will set federal precedent for labor unions, the right to choose, affirmative action, the environment and more, Republican intransigence could hold us back for years. We don't have this kind of time.

That's why Senator Chuck Schumer, the heir apparent to lead Senate Democrats next year, has to be willing to go full thermonuclear and end the filibuster once and for all if Democrats retake the chamber. In that scenario, a Democratic president could nominate whomever she or he likes, and the Democratic-controlled Senate could confirm that person, with as few as 50 votes since the vice president would break ties.

Senator Schumer needs to issue this threat now, while it can still credibly be made: If Sen. McConnell doesn't act on a nomination this year and Democrats fail to retake the Senate, then McConnell can simply delay forever' hijacking the highest court in the country for an indeterminate number of years.

Right now, Sen. McConnell knows he may lose his leadership position due to tight races in 2016. If he also fears Senator Schumer will eliminate the filibuster even for Supreme Court nominations, then he'll be motivated to allow President Obama to name a replacement for Justice Scalia now in order to have more leverage. If he waits, he risks winding up in the minority and having Sen. Schumer run roughshod over him. McConnell's smart enough to know what the better choice is, and that's acting now.

Sign the petition: Tell Senator Schumer to threaten the nuclear option and end the filibuster once and for all.

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To: Senator Chuck Schumer
From: [Your Name]

Sen. McConnell has made it clear that he intends to use his position to block President Obama's nominees for the Supreme Court. The only way to force his hand is by threatening to end the filibuster once and for all. It's time for the nuclear option.