Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Congratulations to Justice Neil Gorsuch

Congratulations to Justice Neil Gorsuch

With Neil Gorsuch's confirmation as the 113th Supreme Court justice on Friday, it won't be long before he starts revealing what he really thinks about a range of hot topics he repeatedly sidestepped during his confirmation hearing.

On Nov. 21, 2013, when Democrats controlled the Senate, then-Senate Majority Leader Reid similarly deployed the "nuclear option" to end Republican filibusters blocking President Barack Obama' lower-court nominees, as described in a more in-depth piece by The Conversation. "He's going to make an incredible addition to the court", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Judge Gorsuch's nomination process was among the most contentious in American history. "Judge Gorsuch is a strict constitutionalist who believes that a judge's personal policy preferences should not affect the outcome of a case".

The following may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation: "Neil Gorsuch is now a Supreme Court Justice".

Three Democratic senators - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - joined their Republican colleagues to vote "yes" on Gorsuch's nomination. GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who has been recovering from back surgery, did not vote. Instead, McConnell kept Scalia's seat open, a calculation that is now paying off hugely for Republicans and Trump, who will be able to claim the biggest victory of his presidency to date if Gorsuch is confirmed as expected.

There is no reasonable justification for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's failure a year ago to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's nomination of the moderate and highly qualified Judge Merrick Garland to that seat.

Mr Gorsuch joins fellow conservatives Clarence 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.

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Gorsuch will be sworn in on Monday in two different ceremonies, one at the court and one at the White House.

"Our democracy simply can not afford a Supreme Court Justice who may bring his own political views into the courtroom".

The Senate's approval of Gorsuch reinstates the nine-seat court's 5-4 conservative majority, fulfilling an important Trump campaign promise.

"We will sadly point to today as a turning point in the history of the Senate and the Supreme Court", said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

For many conservatives, Trump's choice of Gorsuch made up for any number of other weaknesses in his candidacy and his administration.

While that remains uncertain, it's safer to say Gorsuch should know his way around the venerable building.

That paved the way for Gorsuch's confirmation vote Friday, but left lawmakers of both parties bemoaning the undoing of comity in the Senate and warning that the 60-vote filibuster barrier on regular legislation, a key tool to force bipartisan cooperation, could be next to go. It passed with the 52 sitting Republican senators voting yes.

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