The U.S. Senate has confirmed the judge who is set to become the 113th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The move ends a largely partisan showdown with Democrats waging a lengthy filibuster during this week’s confirmation battle over Neil Gorsuch and Republicans voting to change the Senate rules. The GOP in pushed his nomination through with a simple majority vote instead of the historic two-thirds majority vote.
Gorsuch’s confirmation closes a 14-month vacancy since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Poised to obtain the majority in Congress and the presidency, Republicans refused to consider then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.
The Senate confirm Gorsuch 54-45 with three Democrats siding with Republicans – Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) voted in favor of confirming Gorsuch for the post.
“Clearly, the impact of a Supreme Court appointment for a nomination for the president, a confirmation for the Senate, is one of those things that has the potential to last long beyond either the service of those in the Senate at the time or certainly beyond those of the president at the time. It’s a significant decision,” says Blunt.
“A federal court appointment, generally an appointment for life is different than someone who serves during the tenure of the president. I think almost all of us look at judicial appointments differently than we look at cabinet appointments and other appointments that are concurrent with the president’s term. This is an appointment that lasts for as long as the judge is willing to serve and able to serve.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) voted against confirming Gorsuch because she says some of his decisions favor corporations instead of the little guy.
Gorsuch previously served as a Federal Appeals Court Judge in Denver. He served as a law clerk in 1993 and 1994 to Justice Byron R. White and Justice Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch will be the first former Supreme Court clerk to serve alongside a former boss.
Gorsuch will be sworn in on Monday.