The first significant victory of his young presidency, President Trump’s nominee to become the ninth sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court was confirmed by the Senate Friday morning.
Approved by a 54–45 vote, Judge Neil Gorsuch’s elevation to the High Court completes a year-long battle to seat a jurist which began following the February 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, and ended with Senate Republicans roiling Democrats through invoking the “nuclear option” to secure Gorsuch’s place on the bench.
Three Democrats, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and North Dakota’s Heidi Hietkamp, joined 51 Republicans in favor; Independents Bernie Sanders and Angus King united with remaining Democrats in opposition.
Commenting after the final vote, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who also chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, showered Gorsuch with praise.
“This brilliant, honest, humble man is a judge’s judge and he will make a superb justice,” he said.
Welcome news for the president, Trump issued a statement which read:
“Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation process was one of the most transparent and accessible in history, and his judicial temperament, exceptional intellect, unparalleled integrity and record of independence makes him the perfect choice to serve on the nation’s highest court.”
— President Trump (@POTUS) April 7, 2017
Greeting the confirmation with less enthusiasm, but avoiding fiery partisan rhetoric, was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who spoke reporters with reported after the vote.
“I hope Judge Gorsuch has listened to our debate here in the Senate, particularly about our concerns about the Supreme Court increasingly drifting towards becoming a more pro-corporate court that favors employers, corporations and special interests over working Americans,” he said.
“So we are charging Judge Gorsuch to be the independent and fair-minded justice that America badly needs. If he is instead a justice for the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, that will spell trouble for America.”
Now the 113rd justice to sit on the Supreme Court, Gorsuch is expected to be sworn in on Monday and will join the bench on April 17.
[Reuters] [New York Times] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via Yahoo]