Senate approves Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court pick

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The U.S. Senate voted Friday at 12:00 noon ET to approve President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

The final vote was 54-45.

Republicans have a 52-48 Senate majority and all GOP members had confirmed they would be voting for Gorsuch, in addition to a select group of Democrats.

Vice President Pence arrived at the Capitol a few minutes before the vote, just in case he would be needed as a tie-breaker, but that was not necessary.

Speaking before the vote, Sen. Charles Grassley said Judge Gorsuch is a man of integrity and his qualifications for the bench are exceptional.

During President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he said one of his top priorities would be to replace former Justice Antonin Scalia with a strong alternative. The confirmation of Gorsuch, 49, will fulfill Trump’s promise by giving the Supreme Court a 5-4 conservative majority.

Three other sitting justices are 78 years of age or older, which could give Trump another chance to make a huge impact on the nation’s highest judicial body.

Gorsuch’s confirmation is a needed win for Trump, as president, following the recent failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans overcame the effort made by Democrats to filibuster Gorsuch’s confirmation by enacting a Senate rule change, referred to as the “nuclear option.” On Thursday, Republicans fell short of five votes needed to end the filibuster. This move could make it easier for the Senate to approve future Supreme Court nominees while Trump is in office.

A conservative-majority Supreme Court is more likely to support gun rights, religious liberty, and abortion regulations, among many other issues.

Democrats accuse Gorsuch of being “too conservative” for the position and created a very strenuous confirmation process for the nominee.

Gorsuch could be sworn in as early as Friday.

H/T: Reuters

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