Senate confirms SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch
FILE - In this March 21, 2017 file photo, Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A divided Senate Judiciary Committee backed Gorsuch, Monday, April 3, 2017. GOP likely to change Senate rules to confirm him. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, bringing a contentious 14-month partisan battle to a close after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The vote was 54-45 on Friday. The victory gives President Donald Trump’s 49-year-old nominee a lifetime spot on the court and his party a much-needed political win after failing to pass legislation on health care and other issues.

The final confirmation vote came after Senate Republicans rewrote the chamber’s rules, voting to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold on Supreme Court nominees. The change allowed the Senate to proceed to the final vote with a simple majority.

Democrats opposed Gorsuch in part because Senate Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, last year.

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