The fighting is over in Congress and the austere body has confirmed Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s pick, as the newest judge on the nation’s highest court.
The fight was to the finish, resulting in a 54-45 confirmation vote which came 24 hours after a series of tense votes by Democrats who were trying to filibuster their way out of the appointment. Finally Mitch McConnell called for the “nuclear option,” to allow the confirmation to proceed without the previously needed super majority of 60 votes to pass.
McConnell did not apologize for his tough stand on the decision to opt for a simple majority to confirm the controversial supreme court nominee.
“This business of filibustering judges was a creation of Sen. [Chuck] Schumer,” McConnell said. He added that he is still opposed to ending the filibuster for legislation, which would be “what fundamentally changes the Senate.”
When Gorsuch is sworn in, which will most likely be early this week, the Supreme Court will be back up to its full complement of nine justices, a situation which hasn’t existed on the court since the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
Only three Democratic Senators joined will all the Republicans to confirm Gorsuch: Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Senator Schumer of New York was not happy with the outcome.
“They had many options and they chose, unfortunately, the nuclear option,” he said on the floor. “I believe it will make this body a more partisan place. It will make the cooling saucer of the Senate considerably hotter, and I believe it will make the Supreme Court a more partisan place.”