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Senate confirms Donald Trump pick Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court
20 April 2017, 08:40 | Melissa Porter
Senate vote on Neil Gorsuch Friday - live updates
Then McConnell 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.
For the first time in decades, there is now a realistic chance that the Supreme Court will become an engine of progressive change rather than an obstacle to it. "Liberals in the academy are now devising constitutional theories with an eye on the composition of the Court", Justin Driver said. At 49, he is the youngest Supreme Court justice to serve on the court in 25 years. Alexander Hamilton also made a pitch to Harrison, who initially relented and set out from Maryland for NY, then the nation's capital.
While Gorsuch is a fourth-generation Coloradan, his confirmation means a return to Washington and the Supreme Court. Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; and Joe Donnelly of IN - voted to confirm Gorsuch.
The Democrats were left fuming past year when Republicans refused to consider former President Barack Obama's nominee to the court.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the vote, but was not needed to break a tie.
So now, it is Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the world moves on.
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. 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.
Though he obfuscated and evaded on many questions put to him during his confirmation hearing, all indications are that he will vote most often with the court's conservative bloc of justices, providing a fifth vote for a conservative majority in 5-4 cases.
Gorsuch's confirmation ends the longest Supreme Court vacancy since 1862 during the American Civil War, with the court down a justice for nearly 14 months since long-serving conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016.
Gorsuch will replace Justice Antonin Scalia who died a year ago.
Gorsuch will be sworn in as the 113th justice on Monday in separate ceremonies at the court and the White House.
"We will sadly point to today as a turning point in the history of the Senate and the Supreme Court", Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY declared on the Senate floor Thursday.
"At a time when folks are struggling to stay in the middle class, and are struggling as hard as ever to get into the middle class, we need a justice on the court who will help swing it back in the direction of the people", Schumer said. There are appeals pending on expanding gun rights to include carrying concealed firearms in public, state voting restrictions that critics say are aimed at reducing minority turnout, and allowing business owners to object on religious grounds to serving gay couples. Religious rights: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer A case from Missouri to be argued on April 19 in which a church contends the state violated the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom by denying it funds for a playground project because of a state ban on aid to religious organizations.
The Democrats noted that even as they abolished the filibuster for executive and lower court nominations in 2013, they left it in place for Supreme Court nominations, believing that lifetime appointments to the nation's highest court are different. "After meeting face to face, thoroughly examining his record, and watching his impressive hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, I had no doubt that he would be confirmed, even despite Senate Democrats' historic attempt to filibuster his nomination".
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