Senate confirms Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court using "nuclear option"

Senate confirms Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court using

Senate confirms Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court using "nuclear option"

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is headed for confirmation after Republicans tore up the Senate's voting rules to allow him to ascend to the high court over furious Democratic objections. Once sworn in, Gorsuch will join the court and begin to hear cases, in the seat once held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., raised a point of order, suggesting that Supreme Court nominees should not be subjected to a 60-vote threshold but instead a simple majority in the 100-member Senate. On Thursday, Senate Republicans successfully invoked the so-called "nuclear option", effectively terminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

Gorsuch will be sworn in Monday and will quickly begin confronting cases of effect, including one involving separation of church and state that the justices will take up in less than two weeks. Gorsuch could be expected to serve for decades, while Trump could make further appointments to the high court to make it even more solidly conservative because three of the eight justices are 78 or older.

Of all the presidencies in recent memory, none have had more of an opportunity to reshape the state of the Supreme Court of the United States than the administration now led by president Donald J. Trump. In the end, the campaign on Gorsuch's behalf helped to unite Republicans but wooed less than a handful of Democrats to his side, leaving McConnell to deploy the nuclear option. Not only was Scalia the Supreme Court's leading Second Amendment champion, his was one of only five votes cast in the five- to-four Heller decision, and its five-to-four follow-up, McDonald v.

The vote was 54-45 on Friday.

Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY calls the rules change "a turning point in the history of the Senate and the Supreme Court".

"As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution", Trump said. The White House says he will be sworn in Monday during a private ceremony at the Supreme Court, followed by a public ceremony at the White House later in the morning.

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The new justice is also a conservative who adheres to numerous same positions that Scalia did.

Yet anti-gun loyalists in the Democratic Party, blinded by ideology and unable to recover from their stinging rebuke in the election, launched the first partisan filibuster in US history to block Neil Gorsuch's nomination.

"His confirmation will forever be tainted by the Republican Senate majority's callous disregard for the historic rules and traditions of the Senate", said Henderson.

Even as they united in indignation, lawmakers of both parties, pulled by fierce political forces from left and right, were unwilling to stop the confirmation rules change. "It will make the cooling saucer of the Senate considerably hotter, and I believe it will make the Supreme Court a more partisan place".

Trump's choice of Gorsuch from a list of 21 potential nominees created in conjunction with the Federalist Society and equally conservative Heritage Foundation soothed Republicans but enraged Democrats, who also complained about "dark money" spent on his behalf by other right-wing groups during the confirmation process. And yet in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees.

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