Senate Confirms Gorsuch To Supreme Court

Senate to Vote on 'Nuclear Option' Ending Filibuster of Trump's Supreme Court Pick

Democrats opposed Gorsuch in part because Senate Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, last year. The court's current term ends in June.Gorsuch is expected to hear arguments in 13 cases.

Senate Republicans refused to consider Garland's nomination until after the November election, and Trump's surprise win meant a conservative would succeed Scalia.

Republicans exulted in the victory.

"The disgraceful actions taken by Senate Republicans this week weren't about serving the American people, they were about serving Donald Trump and his unsafe agenda".

'Gorsuch's legal philosophy is far to the right of most Americans who believe in a woman's right to vote or to reproductive freedom, a separation of church and state, equal protection, marriage equality for same-sex couples or civil rights protections for vulnerable communities, ' Zbur said in a statement. "So it is indeed a proud day", McConnell said. Instead McConnell kept Scalia's seat open, a calculation that is now paying off for Republicans and Trump.

The Senate's approval of Gorsuch, 49, reinstates the nine-seat court's 5-4 conservative majority, fulfilling an important campaign promise made by the Republican president.

Justice Gorsuch embodies what a good judge should be: He's impartial, applies the law fairly, and is an ardent supporter of the written Constitution.

Democrats called Gorsuch too "extreme" and demanded a "more mainstream candidate".

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That paved the way for Gorsuch's confirmation vote Friday, but left lawmakers of both parties bemoaning the undoing of comity in the Senate and warning that the 60-vote filibuster barrier on regular legislation, a key tool to force bipartisan cooperation, could be next to go. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to change the rules, so the 60-vote threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations was eliminated.

Senate Republicans invoked the nuclear option on Thursday that put a stop to the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

The Senate is not likely to get over its bitter partisan divide anytime soon.

On Friday, the Senate voted to approve his nomination to the high court.

"In fact, under a certain scenario, there could even be more than that", Trump said. There is no way to know how many there will be, if any, but several justices are quite elderly.

Ahead of the vote, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, described Gorsuch as a "brilliant, honest, humble man" and said he "will make a superb Justice".

Associated Press writers Mark Sherman, Mary Clare Jalonick, Stephen Ohlemacher and Matthew Daly contributed.

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