Neil Gorsuch confirmed by Senate as US Supreme Court justice

April 7, 2017 12:35 pm

raises his hand during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, March 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has been confirmed after Republicans approved a rule change over choosing him as the head of the Supreme Court despite furious Democratic objections.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday that Judge Neil Gorsuch has “sterling credentials, an excellent record and an ideal judicial temperament. He has the independence of mind for fairness.”
Gorsuch, who was US president Donald Trump’s 49-year-old pick, will fill the long-vacant ninth position of Antonin Scalia, who died last February. Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1986. 
Gorsuch will be taking his seat on the Supreme Court later this month.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the vote, but was not needed to break a tie. The final tally was 54-45 in favor of confirmation.

The US Supreme Court, Washington, DC., April 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Democrats who opposed Gorsuch said they believe he will favor corporations over workers and will be on the far right of the court.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said, “I hope Judge Gorsuch has listened to our debate here in the Senate, particularly about our concerns about the Supreme Court increasingly drifting towards becoming a more pro-corporate court that favors employers, corporations and special interests over working Americans.”
“So we are charging Judge Gorsuch to be the independent and fair-minded justice that America badly needs. If he is instead a justice for the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, that will spell trouble for America” he added.
The judge has been accused of being “evasive” during his Senate Judiciary Committee’s marathon hearing.

Activists oppose the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court during a press conference by Democratic senators ,Washington, DC., April 6, 2017. (photo by AFP)

Lawmakers voted 52-48 to prohibit a procedural tactic called a filibuster against Supreme Court nominees earlier this week, paving the way for senators to confirm Gorsuch by a simple majority.
Mcconnel had earlier condemned the Republicans’ move, saying they need to restore the norms and traditions of the senate and get past the unprecedented partisan filibuster.
The Senate change will apply to all future Supreme Court candidates as well, thus affecting how many votes a nominee needs to advance to a final confirmation vote.
    Yesterday, Trump himself told to reporters on Air Force One that “there could be as many as four” Supreme Court vacancies for him to fill during his administration.
    “In fact, under a certain scenario, there could even be more than that,” Trump said.
    Being among the youngest Supreme Court nominees, Gorsuch has served as an appeals judge for the 10th Circuit in the US state of Colorado since 2006.
    For his part, the nominee said that if  he is confirmed he “will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the constitution and laws of this great country.”
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