US Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch to America's top court

Presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, the 54-45 near party-line vote caps a partisan saga that has seen Republicans pursue what many call the ''nuclear option''.

Photo by: (AFP)
Photo by: (AFP)

Neil Gorsuch's confirmation ends a 14-month vacancy on the court following the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The US Senate on Friday narrowly confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.  

Presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, the 54-45 near party-line vote caps a partisan saga that has seen Republicans pursue what many call the ''nuclear option''.  

Gorsuch's confirmation ends a 14-month vacancy on the court following the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

His death prompted a showdown between then President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled chamber that confirms Supreme Court nominees.  

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a hearing for Obama nominee, Chief Judge Merrick garland, for nearly a year -- an action that continues to galvanize Democrats.       

On Thursday, they successfully filibustered Gorsuch using a 60-vote cloture rule that prompted Republicans to undo the threshold, upending long-standing Senate tradition.  

The move is likely to fuel ideologically-driven nominations from presidents in the future, dealing a powerful blow to the bipartisanship normally seen on Supreme Court nominees.

Source: 
AA