President Trump has completed another one of his major campaign promises: appointing a new, conservative justice to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed on Friday, April 7, by the Senate in a 54-45 vote to be the 113th Justice of the Supreme Court.
Democrats have been pledging for months to block his confirmation because Republicans wouldn’t vote on Obama’s nominee. The Senate Democrats filibustered the vote on Gorsuch. Filibustering is a process where senators extend debate on a bill – or in this case Supreme court justice – in order to block or delay the vote. It is worth noting that the Democrats already put the extremely qualified Gorsuch through 9 straight hours of interrogation, making fools of themselves in the process. The Democrats filibustered the vote on Gorsuch in order to prevent him from getting the 60 votes needed to confirm him.
If Gorsuch didn’t have 60 votes in the Senate, how did the Senate confirm him? Republicans engaged the “nuclear option,” which lowers the requirement to only a simple majority (51 votes). This is the second time the nuclear option has ever been used. The first time it was used was in 2013 when Harry Reid triggered the option so that the then President Obama could appoint his judicial and executive nominees with a simple majority.
After the news broke of Gorsuch’s confirmation, Trump congratulated Gorsuch in a statement released by the White House.
“It is a great honor to announce the historic confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. 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. As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution.”
Gorsuch will be sworn in on today, and will start his first case in less than two weeks.