US President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Senate Republicans to "go nuclear" and impose a rule change to force through, if necessary, confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, his nominee for the Supreme Court.
Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate 52-48. Democrats signalled on Wednesday they would set up a procedural hurdle, known as a filibuster, requiring 60 votes, rather than a simple majority, to confirm Gorsuch.
The president urged Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to change long-standing Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, a move dubbed the "nuclear option," if Democrats block Gorsuch.
Democrats are furious over McConnell's refusal last year to let the Senate hold confirmation hearings or a vote on Democratic President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch is a federal appeals court judge from Colorado, who is seen as a conservative intellectual.
On Wednesday he began holding private meetings with senators, starting with McConnell, to drum up support for his nomination a day after Trump picked the 49-year-old for a lifetime job on the country's top court.
TRT World's Tetiana Anderson looks at the fight ahead.