Justice Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia early last year. To bypass a Democrat filibuster, Republicans used what has been coined the “nuclear option” to change the rules back to what they were before 2003 when a super-majority was not required for judicial confirmations. Gorsuch passed with some Democratic support also.

Report from CNN:

The Senate Friday morning confirmed Neil Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal judge who could help cement a conservative majority on the bench for decades, to the Supreme Court, according to a CNN count of the vote.

The vote was 54-45, mostly along party lines. Only three Democrats: Sens. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, sided with the GOP majority.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the vote, but was not needed to break a tie.

The court has been operating with eight justices since the sudden death in February 2016 of Justice Antonin Scalia and a protracted fight over President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.

The court will now return to essentially the status quo, which is basically 4 liberal justices, 4 conservative justices, and perhaps the swing vote in the middle with Anthony Kennedy. The next Supreme Court vacancy could be far more meaningful in terms of actually reshaping the court and giving the conservative justices a slim majority should one of the liberal justices step down during Trump’s term.

11 COMMENTS

  1. The Supreme Court will never again be a legitimate institution. Still, we can hope Gorsuch rages himself into an early retirement, like his predecessor.

    • Of all our institutions, the Supreme Court is the one that should be above politics. Here’s a new suggestion: the judiciary committee should have an EQUAL number of each party consider Supreme Court nominees. That would not require any change in the law. It would just mean bringing sanity to the system. If a judge meets the standards of both parties, he or she would be less likely to be a partisan nutcase.

      • It’s a decent suggestion, but the current state of the Republican party would poison that system as well. There is no Republican nominee that wouldn’t get near 100% support from Republicans, and no Democratic nominee that would get a single vote from Republicans. Remember, these are the people who think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are communists. Everything left of Hitler is toxic to them.

  2. Will Gorsuch be the first of several nominees by President Trump appointed to the SCOTUS? Ginsberg looks like death warmed over and most likely will be next to go. There most likely will be more in the next 7 years and 9 months. My oh my, what will the poor Democrats do??

    • Be aware that Trump is not assured of another term as president. Just as he is not assured that he will be able to fulfill his first term of office. There are many reasons for impeachment just as there are many electoral voters already regretting their choice.
      Washington is not a city where it’s inhabitants are known for their honesty. Our present president possesses a mentality that lies in the vicinity of a used car dealer and a snake-oil salesmen.
      The question is not what will the Democrats do. The question is “what will the people do?”

      • While Trump is not guaranteed a second term, and while it would not be out of character for him to quit halfway through, as Half-Governor Sarah Palin did, I’d say odds are on his side for a second term.

        Remember that GHW Bush only lost due to Ross Perot. Carter lost due to the Iran hostages. Hoover lost due to the Great Depression. Taft lost due to Teddy ‘Roosevelt. All the other candidates who ran a second term won.

        The point is that Americans see re-election as allowing the person to stay in office. It takes a dramatic situation to cause us to throw a bum out.

        • To be fair, Trump in the White House is a dramatic situation. If Iran hostages were enough to lose an election, Trump already has enough failures to lose 35 elections.

            • I don’t remember discriminating against anyone, much less being in a positiom to discriminate against specific Trump voters. If you’re trying to make a point, you’ll have to consult a dictionary and get back to me when you’re capable of expressing it.

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