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U.S. Senate Chamber, empty Obamacare passed in 2010 only because Senate Democrats had 60 votes and were able to shut down the Republican filibuster. Could the same happen again in 2021? (U.S. Senate Chamber. Credit: Architect of the Capitol)

An already intense, high-stakes election season hit a new peak with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, creating a Supreme Court vacancy just six weeks prior to the presidential election. Shortly after the news of her death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement offering condolences, while also making his next move crystal clear: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

For liberal Democrats, this is the nightmare scenario they dreaded. And in a chilling, bitter response, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reportedly told congressional Democrats on a recent conference call, “Nothing is off the table next year.” His thinly veiled threat alludes to a radical institutional change Democrats will almost certainly pursue in 2021 should they win both the White House and the Senate: ending the Senate filibuster.

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