The Senate on Friday confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by a vote of 54-45, The Hill reports.
The confirmation caps a bitter political battle that began with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than a year ago and resulted in the Senate triggering the “nuclear option” on Thursday, breaking Democrats’ blockade and ending filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.
Three Democrats facing reelection next year in strongly pro-Trump states voted for Gorsuch: Sens. Joe Manchin (W-VA), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.), according to The Hill.
Gorsuch will be sworn in as the Supreme Court’s 101st associate justice on Monday.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (NY) said following the vote the fight will leave a scorch mark on the Senate because Republicans employed the nuclear option.
“It will make this body a more partisan place. It will make the cooling saucer of the Senate considerably hotter, and I believe it will make the Supreme Court more of a partisan place,” Schumer was quoted as having said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, argued that the change to the filibuster, which Republicans made with a party-line vote Thursday, would restore the Senate to its tradition of not filibustering judicial nominees.
He praised Gorsuch’s credentials as “sterling,” his record as “excellent” and his judicial temperament as “ideal.”
McConnell added he wished “that important aspects of this process had played out differently” but held out hope that “today is a new day” and that Democrats would not hold a grudge as the chamber considers other priorities this year.
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