Hatch’s comments come as Democrats are debating whether to use the “nuclear option” to change the rules of the Senate with a simple majority vote.
Republicans have argued that requiring 60 votes to overcome a filibuster — a cloture motion — should not count as truly blocking a nomination. GOP senators say they're simply exercising their right to "advise and consent" on nomination, which is granted under the Constitution.
Hatch, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out that the Senate has confirmed more of Obama’s judicial nominees than his predecessor had at the same point in his presidency. He added that Democrats are “engaging in filibuster fraud” because Obama has consistently “lagged behind” his predecessors in submitting nominations.
Earlier Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Democrats not to “break the rules to change the rules of the Senate” because once Democrats are in the minority they wouldn’t appreciate Republicans doing the same.