On November 21, 2013, U.S. Senate Democrats utilized the long threatened “nuclear option,” thereby allowing a simple-majority of the chamber to end debate on lower federal court judicial nominations. Formal theory predicts that this change should permit the president to nominate more ideologically extreme nominees. By comparing President Obama’s nominees before and after the Senate’s change to the confirmation process, we are able to provide the first comprehensive examination of how the nuclear option is likely to impact the ideological makeup of the lower federal courts. We additionally examine the impact of the nuclear option on time to confirmation and nominee success. Our results indicate, while post-nuclear option nominees are not significantly more liberal, they are being confirmed more often and more quickly, allowing Obama and Senate Democrats to more efficiently fill the federal judiciary with Democratic-leaning judges.