Neil McGill Gorsuch of Colorado won Senate confirmation Friday as the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, completing a 419-day odyssey that stretched from the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the denial of President Obama's nominee to a Senate rules change known as the "nuclear option".
Judge Gorsuch will be sworn in on Monday, in two ceremonies.
Candidate Donald Trump, meanwhile, made no secret of his determination to nominate a pro-Second Amendment judge to the fill Scalia's vacant seat.
President Donald Trump says in a statement that Gorsuch's "judicial temperament, exceptional intellect, unparalleled integrity, and record of independence" will make him "the ideal choice" to serve on the court.
Democrats in 2013 first changed the rules of the Senate to block Republican filibusters of nominees to lower courts and government jobs, but left the Supreme Court untouched. That unusual external review omitted consultation with Senate Democrats, contributing to bitter Democrat complaints about the way the whole process was handled.
Vice President Mike Pence was presiding as the Senate voted 54-45 in favor of Gorsuch, a veteran of Denver's 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals whose conservative rulings make him an intellectual heir to Scalia, who died in February 2016.
Republicans exulted in the victory.
"He's an exceptional choice", McConnell said.
Georgia officers fired after 'assaulting' suspect
Ayers said neither Bongiovanni nor McDonald had been in serious trouble with the department before Thursday. -- Another police video surfaces from Gwinnett County today as an officer punches a man with hands up.
Democrats have denounced the GOP's use of what both sides dubbed the "nuclear option" to put Gorsuch on the court, calling it an epic power grab that will further corrode politics in Congress, the courts and the United States. Many Republicans bemoaned reaching that point, too, but they blamed Democrats for pushing them to it.
"Certainly this is an important day in the history of the Senate and in the Supreme Court", McConnell told reporters. There are appeals pending on expanding gun rights to include carrying concealed firearms in public, state voting restrictions that critics say are aimed at reducing minority turnout, and allowing business owners to object on religious grounds to provide certain services to gay couples.
Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said there are plans afoot among a bipartisan group of senators to organize a private meeting in the Old Supreme Court Chamber, located in the Capitol, later this year.
Yet anti-gun loyalists in the Democratic Party, blinded by ideology and unable to recover from their stinging rebuke in the election, launched the first partisan filibuster in US history to block Neil Gorsuch's nomination.
Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by the senate to the Supreme Court today, ending a bruising political fight that has lasted weeks. On Thursday, Senate Republicans successfully invoked the so-called "nuclear option", effectively terminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.
The new justice is also a conservative who adheres to numerous same positions that Scalia did. Do you fear the Senate will become more partisan?
Even as they united in indignation, lawmakers of both parties, pulled by fierce political forces from left and right, were unwilling to stop the confirmation rules change.
Under the new rules, the Senate took a simple majority procedural vote to limit debate to 30 hours on the nomination. And in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees.