Saturday 18 November 2017

Senate approves Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch (AP/Susan Walsh)
The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch (AP/Susan Walsh)

The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in a victory for US President Donald Trump.

The vote - 54 to 45 - brings a contentious 14-month partisan battle to a close after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The victory gives Mr 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 Mr Gorsuch in part because Senate Republicans blocked former president Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, last year.

The Supreme Court said Mr Gorsuch will be sworn in as the 113th justice on Monday in separate ceremonies at the court and the White House.

Justices take two oaths, one required by the Constitution and the other set by federal law.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath to Mr Gorsuch in a private ceremony in the justices' conference room.

Later on Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy will ask his former law clerk and new colleague to take the second oath in a public ceremony at the White House.

Mr Gorsuch will officially be a member of the court once he takes the two oaths.

Press Association

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