After Gorsuch: Five More Right-Leaning SCOTUS Justices Expected Under Trump Admonistration

The Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to become the newest associate justice on the Supreme Court Friday, elevating Donald Trump's nominee following a corrosive partisan confrontation that could have lasting impacts for the Senate and the court. Gorsuch joins fellow conservatives Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy on a court that also includes liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Gorsuch is expected to be sworn in within days, in time to hear the final cases of the term. "Those concerns grow even more significant as we confront the reality that President Trump may have several more opportunities to transform the Court with a partisan majority".

In this instance, the Republican-controlled Senate voted to bypass a rule requiring a three-fifths majority (at least 60 votes) to end debate before the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee can take place. But the Democrats' high-profile filibuster had fizzled by midday Thursday after McConnell moved to alter the rules and received the backing of his entire Republican caucus.

On a vote of 54 to 45, senators confirmed Gorsuch, 49, a Denver-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Republicans exulted in Friday's victory.

More broadly, Democrats remain furious that Republicans under McConnell's leadership blocked consideration of former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, in turn allowing Trump to nominate Gorsuch.

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"The practical result of where we are now is we're back to where we were as late as 2000", said McConnell, pointing out that even Clarence Thomas got onto the court without a filibuster, despite highly contentious confirmation hearings regarding sexual harassment claims from Anita Hill.

Many Republicans bemoan reaching that point, too, but they blame Democrats for pushing them to it.

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. Not only was Scalia the Supreme Court's leading Second Amendment champion, his was one of only five votes cast in the five- to-four Heller decision, and its five-to-four follow-up, McDonald v. And it was cause for celebration for conservatives, who have often seemed willing to forgive various Trump failings next to the chance to win this lifetime appointment to the most important court on the land. There is no way to know how many there will be, if any, but several justices are quite elderly.

The White House is praising Neil Gorsuch following his confirmation as the next Supreme Court justice.

Even as they united in indignation, lawmakers of both parties, pulled by fierce political forces from left and right, were unwilling to stop the confirmation rules change.

Thursday's vote means that from now on, all nominations, including those to the Supreme Court, can be quickly approved by a majority vote in the Senate. Likewise, senators have predicted that the Supreme Court will itself be injected more and more as a central issue in Senate elections, further eroding the once prized bipartisanship that made the Senate "the world's most deliberative body". And yet in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees.


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