On Thursday, the U.S. Senate deployed the so-called nuclear option.
The Republican majority voted to change longstanding Senate rules allowing the filibuster of Supreme Court nominees.
That gets around a Democratic filibuster of President Trump's nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
It also means all future Supreme Court nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority, rather than 60 votes.
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley spoke with OPB "All Things Considered" host Kate Davidson about why he pushed for a filibuster even knowing the nuclear option was likely. Listen to their full conversation by clicking play in the audio player at the top of this article.