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Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

Neil Gorsuch, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, was confirmed Friday to the Supreme Court. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch on Friday.

Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left on the Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

In a 54-45 vote, the Senate confirmed Gorsuch to serve as a justice on the nation’s highest court, ending a contentious nomination process.

Democrats — angered by Republican leadership’s refusal to act on former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in the wake of Scalia’s death last year — filibustered Gorsuch’s nomination, labeling him an extremist.

Senate Republicans on Thursday used the so-called “nuclear option” in order to circumvent the filibuster, changing the body’s rules in order to lower the threshold to end debate on a Supreme Court nominee from 60 votes to 51 votes.

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) voted with Republicans in favor of Gorsuch’s confirmation.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate during the vote.

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