US Senate Confirms Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice
Judge Neil M Gorsuch has been confirmed by the US Senate to become the 113th justice of the US Supreme Court. The confirmation was a triumph for President Trump, who pledged during the election campaign to appoint another committed conservative to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Judge Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more.
Senate Republicans last year refused even to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Merrick B Garland, saying the choice of the next justice should belong to the next president.
The confirmation vote was only possible after the Senate discarded longstanding rules meant to ensure mature deliberation and bipartisan cooperation, particularly in considering Supreme Court nominees. On Thursday, after Democrats waged a filibuster against Judge Gorsuch, denying him the 60 votes required to advance to a final vote, Republicans invoked the so-called nuclear option: lowering the threshold on Supreme Court nominations to a simple majority vote.
Judge Gorsuch possesses the credentials typical of the modern Supreme Court justice. He is a graduate of Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, served as a Supreme Court law clerk and worked as a lawyer at a prestigious Washington law firm and at the Justice Department. He joined the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, in 2006, where he was widely admired as a fine judicial stylist.
Justice Gorsuch is not a stranger to the court, having served as a law clerk in 1993 and 1994 to Justice Byron R White, who died in 2002, and Justice Anthony M Kennedy, who continues to hold the crucial vote in many closely divided cases. He will be the first former Supreme Court clerk to serve alongside a former boss.
The New York Times. April 7.