Sharp right turn for Supreme Court

Sharp right turn for Supreme Court

Sharp right turn for Supreme Court

The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, capping more than a year of bitter partisan bickering over the ideological balance of the nation's highest court.

After weeks of turmoil, the Senate confirmed Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch as the Supreme Court's youngest justice Friday, filling a 14-month vacancy after the death of Antonin Scalia and restoring a rightward tilt that could last for years.

In this instance, the Republican-controlled Senate voted to bypass a rule requiring a three-fifths majority (at least 60 votes) to end debate before the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee can take place. Although the Republicans enjoy a 52-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate, they still needed eight Democrats to sign on in order to achieve a supermajority totaling 60 votes for cloture.

Democrats opposed Mr Gorsuch in part because Senate Republicans blocked former president Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, last year.

While there may be no end to the hypocrisy, rancor, and obstruction that liberal loyalists are willing to inflict on the American political process, all citizens of goodwill can rest assured that in Judge Gorsuch, they have a decent, unbiased, and highly-qualified Supreme Court justice who will uphold the law. Gorsuch was on a list of potential justices recommended by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation during the campaign, and some Republicans even credit the Supreme Court vacancy as one reason Trump won the November election.

A graduate of Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, Gorsuch served as a Supreme Court law clerk and worked as a lawyer at the Washington law firm and at the Justice Department.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the senate for the vote and announced the final tally of 54 to 45 in favor of Gorsuch.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, had attempted to delay the effort to change the rules until after the two-week congressional recess, but failed to secure enough votes to proceed that way. 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.

FILE - In this March 22, 2017, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks during his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington. If Trump gets to replace any of them, the court could swing much further to the right. The 60-vote filibuster requirement on Supreme Court nominees was effectively gone, and with it the last vestige of bipartisanship on presidential nominees in an increasingly polarized Senate.

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

The maneuvering played out in a tense Senate chamber with most members in their seats, a rare and theatrical occurrence.

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.

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. And in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees.

Under the new rules, the Senate took a simple majority procedural vote to limit debate to 30 hours on the nomination.

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