On Friday, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed as the Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The Senate Republicans were finally able to approve President Donald Trump’s nominee by ending the Democratic blockade by going “nuclear” to end a contentious partisan conflict.
The Supreme Court nomination was of high stakes, as the appointment was determine which ideology, right or left, would control the highest court in the land. Thus, President Trump gave the approval to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “go nuclear” by ending the 60-threshold needed to confirm the nomination of Gorsuch, by lowering it to 50. The Democrats were filibustering the nomination at 52-48.
Called the “nuclear option”, because it breaks senate tradition, majority of Democrats, and even some republicans claim that it undermines democracy and bipartisanship. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer claims that this was an act that “moved further away from the principles our founders intended for these institutions: principles of bipartisanship, moderation and consensus.” United States Senator from Arizona John McCain, despite voting for the nuclear option and being a Republican, agreed that going such option would clearly undermine democracy. But the Democrats are furious claiming that the lifetime-post was stolen from former President Barack Obama, who nominated Merrick Garland. But he was filibustered by Senate Republicans whom wanted the next president to nominate the next supreme court justice.
Republicans defended the act by claiming that such an act needed to be done to swiftly appoint a Supreme Court Justice, and that Senate Democrats would not end filibustering.
Ironically, despite that Gorsuch was appointed by a means of breaking Senate tradition, he is an originalist. This means that he believes that the Constitution should be interpreted according to how it was understood in the late 18th century. Gorsuch’s appointment means our judicial and political landscape will shift to the right