Senate confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court
Vice President Mike Pence was presiding as the Senate voted 54-45 in favor of Gorsuch, a 49-year-old veteran of the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Denver whose conservative rulings make him an intellectual heir to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whose seat he will fill.
Gorsuch won support from 51 of the chambers’ Republicans as well as three moderate Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won last fall: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who has been recovering from back surgery, did not vote.
The outcome was a major win for Trump, his biggest congressional victory to date, as well as for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who kept Scalia’s seat open after the justice’s death in February 2016. McConnell refused to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, a move that enraged Democrats but that Republicans now hail as a political master stroke.
After he is sworn in, Gorsuch will restore the court’s conservative voting majority that existed before Scalia’s death, and which could persist for years or even grow over the course of Trump’s administration. He is expected to be sworn in Monday, in time to hear the final cases of the term. He was nominated by Trump shortly after the January inauguration.
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