Senate Confirms Neil Gorsuch as Next Supreme Court Justice
The Supreme Court now has a full complement of nine judges for the first time since February 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died. They believe Republicans "stole" the vacant Supreme Court seat from former President Barack Obama, who past year nominated Merrick Garland to replace the seat left vacant by the late Antonin Scalia.
On Thursday, Mr McConnell triggered a legislative manoeuvre known as the "nuclear option" when Republicans lacked the 60 votes required to appoint a Supreme Court judge. In this case, it allows the Senate to change the number of votes needed to confirm a Supreme Court nominee to a simple majority of 51 instead of a super majority of 60.
Gorsuch will officially be a member of the court once he takes the two oaths.
The US Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday, ending a bitter partisan feud and the longest vacancy on the bench since the American Civil War.
Both senators supported the filibuster and were angered by the rules change, dubbed the "nuclear option" because of the harm it would do to relations in the Senate.
Many Democrats were still tight over Garland being passed over, as they should be, and noted that Gorsuch was super conservative.
Gorsuch will be sworn in as the 113th justice on Monday in separate ceremonies at the court and the White House.
'Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court represents the triumph of bullying over moderation, ' said Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. Friday's 54-45 vote included "yes" votes from West Virginia U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who orchestrated the blockade, called it "the most consequential decision I've ever been involved in". "For this, both Judge Gorsuch and Senator McConnell will enter the history books with asterisks by their names", he said in a statement. "You know that he (Gorsuch) will be confirmed, and you know in your heart that he deserves to be confirmed".
"This brilliant, honest, humble man is a judge's judge and we will make a superb justice", Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said the episode was proof Democrats would have filibustered any of President Trump's nominees. And in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees.
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Vice President Mike Pence presided over the final vote Friday, even though his vote as a tie-breaker was not necessary. Most experts expect Gorsuch to be more aligned with the court's two conservatives, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
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