Friday morning, the U.S. Senate voted on the confirmation of President Donald Trump‘s nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. The Senate confirmed Gorsusch in a 54-45 vote, making him the 113th Supreme Court Justice.
Gorsuch will now occupy the seat left vacant by the passing of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The two men shared similarities in their judicial philosophy, both known for their strict originalist interpretation of the Constitution.
However, while the Court may not change much in its makeup with Gorsuch’s addition, his nomination was shrouded in controversy due to political games by both Republicans and Democrats that went on since President Barack Obama first nominated Judge Merrick Garland to be Scalia’s replacement. Republicans refused to even vote on Garland’s nomination, instead waiting for Obama to be out of office, letting the next President choose a nominee. When that time came, Democrats vowed to block President Trump’s pick, before it was announced.
While Gorsuch’s credentials were deemed stellar by people across the political spectrum, Democrats aimed to filibuster the nomination to prevent it from moving forward. This led to Republicans changing the Senate’s rules to eliminate the filibuster possibility. Instead of needing 60 votes to end filibuster, as had been the practice for Supreme Court nominees, the new rule made it so that only a majority of 51 votes were needed. This was ultimately the difference that allowed the Senate to successfully confirm Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Gorsuch will officially be sworn in on Monday.
This article has been updated.