US Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 11, 2017,
Apr 11, 2017, 2:52
The U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court on Friday, a day after exercising the option to "go nuclear" and change the way in which justices are approved.
Vice President Mike Pence presided as all 52 Republicans and three moderate Democrats from states that Trump won - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of IN - cast their votes for the Supreme Court nominee. Democrats were also rankled by the GOP's refusal a year ago to act on Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee for the open seat created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Mr. Coons, a Democrat, and Mrs. Collins, a Republican, plan to deliver a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, urging them to preserve the 60-vote filibuster threshold for legislation.
In part Democrats opposed the nomination because Senate Republicans blocked former president Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland previous year.
Three of the current U.S. supreme court judges are aged between 78 and 84, fuelling speculation that Mr Trump may have to nominate at least one other supreme court judge during his tenure, a development that could shift the ideological hue of the court significantly to the right.
The Senate's vote was mostly along party lines. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) voted yes on Gorsuch's nomination. Sen.
Democrats opposed Gorsuch's nomination, in part, because Trump selected him from a list compiled by right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. "I was proud to cast my vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch and help the President deliver on this important promise". He essentially restores the ideological breakdown of the court before Scalia's death, as the justices have generally been split 4-4 for more than a year.
A rule change for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee??!
McConnell's decision previous year to hold the Supreme Court seat open was seen as a gamble, questioned even by some in his party, but it's now viewed by Republicans as a political master stroke.
In the future, I will not be alone in wondering how many right-leaning 5-4 Supreme Court decisions with Justice Gorsuch in the majority would have been decided differently had Judge Garland been granted a hearing and confirmed. "He has served with distinction on the U.S. Court of Appeals, and has earned a reputation for being fair and impartial". "I support the Senate's use of the Democrat Harry Reid precedent to ensure Gorsuch's confirmation", Brooks said.