Conservatives are pressuring Senate Republicans to keep in place the controversial “nuclear option” rules that Democrats approved last year to limit filibusters of President Obama’s nominees.

A group of 26 conservative academics, advocates and leaders wrote in a letter that they see “very little upside” to restoring the old rules, which had allowed the minority party to require 60 votes to confirm nominees.

They say the rules would help Republicans put “committed constitutionalists” on the bench if the White House changes hands in 2016.

“The decision by Senator [Harry] Reid and his Democratic colleagues to deploy the so-called ‘nuclear option’ was transparently designed to facilitate the confirmation of judicial nominees who would insulate ObamaCare and other aspects of President Obama’s agenda from meaningful judicial review,” the letter says.


“Regardless of their motives, we see very little upside and significant downside in reviving the judicial filibuster.”

After complaining for years that Republicans were needlessly delaying Obama’s nominees, Democrats last year changed the Senate rules in a simple majority vote — a move dubbed the “nuclear option” for its break from precedent. The new rule only maintains the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees.

Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.), denounced the move, calling it tyrannical overreach by the majority.

With McConnell now set to become leader of the new GOP majority, conservatives say he should keep the policy in place for a potential Republican president. They said the party could someday be able to turn the “nuclear option” back on Democrats and move nominees through the Senate like clockwork.

“Make no mistake, reviving the filibuster for nominations would significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the probability that the most qualified and most committed constitutionalists would be nominated or confirmed in a future Republican administration.”

The letter’s signatories included Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion-rights group Susan B. Anthony List; American Values President Gary Bauer; former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell; and former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Bob McConnell.

The minority leader declined to discuss the nuclear option in a Time magazine interview published Wednesday.

“Oh, we’ll discuss that when we get back,” he said.