The Senate on Friday confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a development that could help cement a conservative majority in the High Court for the succeeding decades.
The chamber voted 54-45 to make the youthful appeals judge an associate justice. Three Democrats— Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana — joined the Republicans to back Gorsuch’s confirmation.
In a statement Friday, President Donald Trump called the first Supreme Court appointment of his presidency a “historic confirmation”, and said Gorsuch was the “perfect choice” because of “his judicial temperament, exceptional intellect, unparalleled integrity, and record of independence,” according to The Guardian.
With Gorsuch’s confirmation, the Supreme Court will have four conservatives, four liberals and Justice Anthony Kennedy as a swing vote. But with retirement rumors surrounding Kennedy, it could give Trump the opportunity to tilt the balance to the conservatives during his presidency.
The Daily Caller reports:
The day bursts with historical and political implications for all three branches of government. Gorsuch’s confirmation marks the first significant domestic political achievement of Donald Trump’s young presidency, still reeling from a failed vote in the House of Representatives on health care reform, and a bevy of court orders enjoining enforcement of his executive orders on refugees and migrants. His first Supreme Court appointment is an early hallmark of the Trump legacy, and marks the fruition of a central campaign pledge.