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NEW INFORMATION: Gorsuch confirmed; Senate approves Trump nominee, 54-45

NEW INFORMATION: Gorsuch confirmed; Senate approves Trump nominee, 54-45”

Presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, the 54-45 near party-line vote caps a partisan saga that has seen Republicans pursue a rule change widely regarded as the "nuclear option".

At 49, he is decades younger than several of the other justices - two are in their 80s and one is 78 - raising the possibility that President Donald Trump will have a chance to appoint more conservatives to a court that has been somewhat balanced in recent years.

Gorsuch's confirmation was all-but-assured Thursday, when Republicans cleared the way for him by overcoming a historic Democratic blockade and changing the rules of the Senate. The change allowed the Senate to proceed to the final vote with a simple majority.

But Democrats replied that they were left no choice after Republicans' systematic abuse of the filibuster during the first four years of the Obama presidency, making it extraordinarily hard to confirm lower court and executive branch nominees. Three Democrats joined the Republicans in voting for Gorsuch. Cory Gardner voted yes.

The Supreme Court says Neil Gorsuch will be sworn in as the 113th justice on Monday in separate ceremonies at the court and the White House. "Neil Gorsuch has a deep understanding of Western issues and future generations of Coloradans will benefit from his service to our country..."

Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by the senate to the Supreme Court today, ending a bruising political fight that has lasted weeks.

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In the intense media and political scrutiny that followed Trump's selection, there was never any serious argument against Judge Gorsuch's credentials, integrity, impartiality, and ability. For the reasons I have said, I had concerns about his approach to the law.

President Donald Trump says in a statement that Gorsuch's "judicial temperament, exceptional intellect, unparalleled integrity, and record of independence" will make him "the flawless choice" to serve on the court. Joe Manchin, North Dakota Sen. "He's going to make an incredible addition to the court", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. Gorsuch's judicial orthodoxy is similar to Scalia's.

Gorsuch will officially be sworn in on Monday morning and can immediately begin hearing cases. He was nominated by Trump shortly after the January inauguration.

Republicans exulted in the victory.

SCOTUS refers to the Supreme Court of the United States.

"The practical result of where we are now is we're back to where we were as late as 2000", said McConnell, pointing out that even Clarence Thomas got onto the court without a filibuster, despite highly contentious confirmation hearings regarding sexual harassment claims from Anita Hill. McConnell told reporters Friday he viewed it as "the most consequential decision I've ever been involved in".

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Justices take two oaths, one required by the Constitution and the other set by federal law. In exit polls, 21 percent of voters called Supreme Court appointments "the most important factor" to their vote, and among those people 56 percent voted for Trump. In the end, the campaign on Gorsuch's behalf helped to unite Republicans but wooed less than a handful of Democrats to his side, leaving McConnell to deploy the nuclear option.

On Thursday, Democrats planned to filibuster to try to delay Gorsuch's confirmation, but Sen.

The maneuvering played out in a tense Senate chamber with most members in their seats, a rare and theatrical occurrence.

"In fact, under a certain scenario, there could even be more than that", Trump said.

The new justice is also a conservative who adheres to numerous same positions that Scalia did. And in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees.

Democrats and their liberal allies were desultory after losing not only the confirmation battle but the minority party's right to block high court nominations with just 41 votes.

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