PoliticsSupreme Court


Neil Gorsuch Was Just Confirmed To The Supreme Court

The Senate approved Judge Neil Gorsuch to be a justice with a final vote of 54-45.
Posted at 12:19 PM, Apr 07, 2017

The Senate voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch as a justice of the Supreme Court.

But Senate Republicans had to "go nuclear" to make it happen.

Democrats tried to filibuster his nomination, and Republicans didn't have the 60 votes they needed to end the debate.

Democrats opposed Gorsuch because they were concerned he wouldn't serve as an independent check on the president, and many senators were still upset that former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, never got a confirmation hearing.

So on Thursday, the Republicans voted to lower the cloture threshold from 60 votes to a simple majority. Invoking cloture also put a 30-hour limit on debate. That set up the final Senate vote on Friday, where he was confirmed 54-45.

Gorsuch will replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. When Gorsuch is sworn in, the court will again have a full nine-member bench.