Neil Gorsuch confirmed by Senate as Supreme Court justice

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Lawmakers confirmed him in a 54-45 vote in a simple up-or-down simple majority vote.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) voted in favor of confirming Gorsuch for the post.

On Thursday, Mr McConnell triggered a legislative manoeuvre known as the "nuclear option" when Republicans lacked the 60 votes required to appoint a Supreme Court judge.

The ultimate showdown was predictable.

"He's going to make an incredible addition to the court", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The move ended the minority party's ability to filibuster appointments to the Supreme Court, which had never been exercised before Gorsuch's nomination. His nomination will have a cloture vote.

Gorsuch will take the seat of the conservative icon who died in February 2016.

The Republican-led Senate on Friday gave Donald Trump the biggest triumph of his young presidency, confirming his Supreme Court nominee over stout Democratic opposition and restoring a conservative majority on the highest USA judicial body.

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Republicans saw Gorsuch's disciplined and detached approach as evidence of the fair and independent mindset that the US needs on its highest court.

It is unclear if Trump will have any future nominations to the top court, but two justices - Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg - are 80 or older, while Stephen Breyer is rapidly approaching that milestone. You're on the Supreme Court. He joined the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, in 2006 where he remained until Friday afternoon.

But neither side harbored any doubts, based on the judge's opinions, other writings and the president who nominated him, that Judge Gorsuch would be a reliable conservative committed to following the original understanding of those who drafted and ratified the Constitution. That unusual external review omitted consultation with Senate Democrats, contributing to bitter Democrat complaints about the way the whole process was handled. However, there was another key factor, as well.

The Senate confirm Gorsuch 54-45 with three Democrats siding with Republicans - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Had Hillary Clinton won last November's election (as many polls indicated she might), the choice would have been hers.

Even as senior Republicans lamented the voting change, McConnell and some allies argued that all they were doing was returning to a time, not long ago, when filibusters of judicial nominees were unusual, and it was virtually unheard-of to try to block a Supreme Court nominee in that fashion.

Four times during his confirmation hearings, Gorsuch invoked a "breakfast table" analogy, telling senators that good judges set aside what they have to eat - and their personal views - before they leave the house in the morning to apply the law and nothing else to the facts of the cases at hand.

The confirmation wins them control of a court which is the final arbiter on the most controversial U.S. legal issues.

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