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Senate Confirms Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

by Countable | Updated on 7.9.18

The Senate voted Friday morning to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court on a 54-45 vote. Gorsuch’s confirmation comes one day after Republican senators deployed the "nuclear option" to bypass a partisan filibuster launched by Democrats looking to block his nomination. All the Republicans in attendance voted to confirm Gorsuch (although Sen. Jonny Isakson (R-GA) was absent) and three Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) — crossed the aisle to support the nominee.

Will Gorsuch change the balance of the court?

As an originalist, Gorsuch believes that the Constitution’s meaning should be interpreted in the way that reasonable people at the time of adoption understood the meaning of the text to be, which is similar to the views of the late Justice Scalia.

During his time on the Tenth Circuit Court, Gorsuch has authored opinions that put him in the mainstream of conservative judicial thought. He believes in a broad definition of religious freedom, and in a case related to the Affordable Care Act Gorsuch held that the law’s requirement for employers to provide workers with insurance that includes contraceptive coverage violates employers’ religious rights.

Gorsuch has also expressed opposition to a three decade old precedent known as the Chevron Doctrine, in which the Supreme Court held that courts should defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of laws if Congress doesn’t explicitly address the issue in question when granting authority to regulators.

Who is Neil Gorsuch?

Gorsuch, 49, spent his teenage years in Washington, D.C. after his mother was picked to lead the Environmental Protection Agency during the Reagan administration. She was forced to resign following allegations of political favoritism in the process of cleaning up toxic-waste sites, although she was never charged with a crime.

He has an academic background that reads like that of a prototypical Supreme Court justice, having earned his undergraduate degree at Columbia University before getting his law degree from Harvard University. He later earned a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University.

Gorsuch also has some familiarity with the operations of the Supreme Court, having clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy in 1993-1994. If confirmed, he would be a colleague of one of his former bosses, as Justice Kennedy is still serving on the nation’s highest court. Gorsuch has served on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, when he was nominated by former President George W. Bush and confirmed by a voice vote in the U.S. Senate.

A native of Colorado, Gorsuch enjoys fly fishing and skiing in his spare time, and raises horses, chickens and goats. He and his wife have two daughters.

Tell your senators whether you approve of Gorsuch's confirmation and what they should do about future nominees using the "Take Action" button.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: White House / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(785)
  • Sara
    04/07/2017
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    My son is eight. He plays games like this. If you can't win, just change the rules.

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  • Christine
    04/07/2017
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    Fake SCOTUS member much like fake POTUS 45. Sad and wrong!

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  • Kenny
    04/07/2017
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    ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!! The American government just becomes more and more of a joke.

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  • Ross
    04/07/2017
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    The legitimacy of the Court has been irrevocably damaged. It has become a partisan extension

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  • Milan
    04/07/2017
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    What a shame that last year the Republican senate was unwilling to do their jobs and this year they have behaved so abominably. The Senate is elected to do their jobs on behalf of the American public - instead you spit on the taxpayers hard earned money. It will come back around - I feel ashamed right now of our Congress and doubly ashamed of the President. Just a reminder - you are supposed to represent ALL AMERICANS - not just the ones that line your pockets. Despicable

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  • Francesco
    04/07/2017
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    Love how all the people are complaining about this not being constitutional, when the democrats have stepped in the way of confirming a constitutional judge. Not only this but most democrats fail to realize that democrats as well have utilized the nuclear option in the past as well. Double standards much?

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  • Becky
    04/07/2017
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    Wrong for so many reasons. This was President Obama's pick and Republicans took that away. Supreme Court nominees should be decided by 60 votes and Republicans took that away. And now he may vote to take away a woman's right to choose, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of citizens over corporations. Not to mention he plagiarized. So wrong.

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  • Leslie
    04/07/2017
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    What a shame. Republicans couldn't get him confirmed with the old rules so they had to change them to get him confirmed. Republicans only seem to care about the party rather than what's good for the country. Come 2018 it will be time to vote them out.

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  • Janieb
    04/07/2017
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    Honestly - why bother voting? I'm disgusted with Congress in particular the GOP. THIS IS NOT AMERICA. It's s dictatorship.

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  • Marina
    04/07/2017
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    Extremely disappointed in the precedent just set with the confirmation of Gorsuch.

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  • Patricia
    04/07/2017
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    Don't be disgusted with congress, use the authority given to you and VOTE THEM OUT when the time comes. Mitch and others need to go!!!!

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  • Celeste
    04/07/2017
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    Shameful!

    Like (79)
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  • Lkl
    04/07/2017
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    It is so disappointing that the country is now being led by so many who lack honor and integrity. Our civil rights, environment, our children's education and future are all at risk and being dismantled for backward political ideology. Resist at every turn!

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  • Amy
    04/07/2017
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    Shame shame shame.

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  • Allen
    04/07/2017
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    The 'Spoiled Children' option. So proud of republican hypocrisy.

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  • Asha
    04/07/2017
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    Finally!! What a great replacement for the late Justice Scalia.

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  • Laura
    04/07/2017
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    Glad Gorsuch vote got a majority. He has the credentials and anyone who just puts politics aside would agree he is highly qualified.

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  • DP10
    04/07/2017
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    Good. No reason for a man of his caliber to go down without a vote because the Dems don't want to confirm a Trump nomination.

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  • Dawn
    04/07/2017
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    Hallelujah! Finally a conservative judge who follows the Constitution

    Like (53)
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  • byron
    04/07/2017
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    An awesome selection! Great day for our constitution!

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