It's another victory for President Donald Trump as the Senate confirmed his choice, Judge Neil Gorsuch, as a new justice of the Supreme Court.
The Senate voted 54-45 in a historic moment to confirm Gorsuch as the 113th justice to serve on the nation's highest court. The vote also put to an end the bitter, partisan battle for Gorsuch's confirmation in the Senate.
Gorsuch, 49, who served as a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, will take the place of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon who died unexpectedly a year ago. Gorsuch's confirmation will mark the first time that the Supreme Court will have a complete 9-member chamber since the death of Scalia in February last year.
Gorsuch's path to confirmation is considered relatively short and fast by modern standards- taking only 65 days. His confirmation was accomplished through Republicans' efforts to trigger the so-called " nuclear option", effectively doing away with the Senate filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations.
The new justice is also a conservative who shares many of the positions that Scalia took before. Some even believe that Gorsuch may turn out to be more conservative than Scalia.
Gorsuch is also well-known for his clear writing, a strong asset that could make him a potential influential justice on a court often seen as closely divided on some major issues. Gorsuch is expected to vote on the side of the conservative block of justices, possibly becoming the crucial fifth vote to make up a conservative majority in 5-4 cases.
Among the controversial issues up for review by the court next term is the expansion of gun rights to include carrying concealed firearms in public; upholding of state voting restrictions; allowing business owners to refuse service to gay couples based on religious objections, among others.
Nominating a conservative justice to the Supreme Court was one of Trump's most memorable campaign promises. With his strong push, along with Vice President Mike Pence, and the resolve of Republican lawmakers, that campaign promise was fulfilled today in the historic Senate vote.