Senate confirms Gorsuch as 9th SCOTUS judge

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The Senate's vote was 55-45 - short of the 60 votes needed to end debate and consider Gorsuch for confirmation.

"As I look back on my career, I think the most consequential decision I've ever been involved in was the decision to let the president being elected a year ago pick the Supreme Court nominee", McConnell said during a news conference just before the vote.

After watching Senate Republicans obstruct Barack Obama for almost two full terms, anything that gets rid of future Republican obstruction is a trade worth making.

Lawmakers voted 52-48 to prohibit a procedural tactic called a filibuster against Supreme Court nominees earlier this week, paving the way for senators to confirm Gorsuch by a simple majority.

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With an immovable Democratic resistance threatening to derail the nomination of a candidate who, by many metrics, was qualified, Republicans took the extreme step of pursuing the "nuclear option". Some credit McConnell for Trump's narrow victory because the vacant Supreme Court seat motivated conservative voters.

Only three Democrats voted for Gorsuch: Sens.

Gorsuch has a reputation for listening and for resolving each case on its own merits, Loewy said, adding it appears he is independent from the man who nominated him, President Donald Trump. "In many cases, the Supreme Court is the last resort for everyday Americans who are seeking fairness and justice against forces much larger than themselves".

The drama leading up to Gorsuch's confirmation had less to do with his qualifications and more with a disintegration of coalition-building around Supreme Court nominations, particularly on the issue of abortion. Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal judge from Colorado, will occupy the ninth seat on the court, which has been operating with eight justices since the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Speaking on the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican reminded Democrats they had used the nuclear option in 2013.

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"Congratulations to Judge Neil Gorsuch on his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court!"

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, had attempted to delay the effort to change the rules until after the two-week congressional recess, but failed to secure enough votes to proceed that way.

Then-president Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland as Scalia's replacement, but McConnell balked, arguing that since it was an election year, the next president should pick the nominee.

McConnell vowed to preserve the 60-vote filibuster threshold on regular legislation, as opposed to nominations, which will continue to act as a tool forcing bipartisan outcomes and ensuring participation from the minority party.

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