Watch the Senate vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch live.
UPDATE 8:03 p.m. EST:
The Senate will convene at 11:30 a.m. Friday to vote on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, according to CNN.
UPDATE 1:47 p.m. EST:
The Senate is set for a final vote on Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court on Friday.
Three Democrats joined the vote: Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly are all up for re-election in largely Republican states.
UPDATE 12:34 p.m. EST:
Senate Republicans voted to trigger the Senate's "nuclear option," rewriting Senate rules on the confirmation of Supreme Court justices and allowing them to be confirmed with a simple majority vote.
The 52-48 vote fell along party lines.
UPDATE 12:18 p.m. EST:
Schumer's vote to adjourn failed.
UPDATE 12:01 p.m. EST:
Schumer's vote to reschedule the vote on Gorsuch failed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) then began to invoke the "nuclear option," attempting to vote to overhaul Senate rules and allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority.
Schumer then called for a vote on adjourning until 5 p.m.
UPDATE 11:54 a.m. EST: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the vote a "bad day for the Senate," saying the nuclear option would allow more ideological Supreme Court justices. However, he did not change his vote.
UPDATE 11:47 a.m. EST:
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked rhetorically after the re-vote whether or not there was a restriction on appointing a Supreme Court justice in the final year of a president's term. He was told there was no such rejection.
Schumer then initiated a vote to delay the nomination of Neil Gorsuch until April 24.
UPDATE 11:40 a.m. EST: The Senate proceeded to hold a strategic re-vote on cloture.
UPDATE 11:25 a.m. EST:
Senate Democrats blocked Neil Gorsuch from advancing, forcing a filibuster and setting the stage for the "nuclear option" of rewriting Senate rules.
This is the first partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in history. However, the victory for Democrats will be temporary as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will soon set up a vote to allow Gorsuch to proceed to a confirmation vote without getting the 60 votes needed for cloture.
UPDATE April 6, 10:54 a.m. EST:
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said his party made the right decision in choosing to filibuster over Neil Gorsuch as opposed to a future nominee.
"Every vote on the Supreme Court is equally important," Blumenthal said.
ORIGINAL STORY: On Thursday, the Senate will head into the final battle over the empty Supreme Court seat, and it will likely turn nuclear.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has given Senators until Thursday morning to finish up debate over Neil Gorsuch's nomination and then he will call for what's called cloture, or an end to the debate.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) protested the nomination with a 15-hour floor speech, but it wasn't a filibuster.
Senate Democrats have said they will launch a filibuster to try to keep the confirmation vote from happening.
It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster and 41 Senate Democrats have said they will vote no on cloture.
That could force Republicans to use the nuclear option -- changing Senate rules to allow simple majority vote to invoke cloture.
That would effectively kill the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations from now on. Here's why that's such a big deal.