Washington, April 9 : The Republican-led Senate on Friday gave Donald Trump the biggest triumph of his young presidency, confirming his Supreme Court nominee as the Associate Judge, restoring a conservative majority on the highest U.S. judicial body.
The moment was a triumph for President Trump, whose campaign appeal to reluctant Republicans last year rested in large part on his pledge to appoint another committed conservative to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. However rocky the first months of his administration may have been, Mr Trump now has a lasting legacy: Judge Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more.
"Judge Gorsuch's confirmation process was one of the most transparent and accessible in history, and his judicial temperament, exceptional intellect, unparalleled integrity and record of independence makes him the perfect choice to serve on the nation's highest court," Trump said in a statement.
“As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution,” he added. The final tally in the senate was 54-45 in favour of confirmation.
Gorsuch's confirmation ends the longest Supreme Court vacancy since 1862 during the American Civil War, with the court down a justice for almost 14 months since long-serving conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016.
"He's going to make an incredible addition to the court," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Illustrating the importance of the moment, Vice President Mike Pence served as the Senate's presiding officer during the vote to confirm Gorsuch, who also worked in Republican former President George W. Bush's Justice Department and is the son of the first woman to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Republicans, possessing a 52-45 Senate majority, on Thursday overcame a ferocious Democratic effort to block a confirmation vote, resorting to a rule change known as the "nuclear option."
"Today, for the first time in history, the theft of a Supreme Court seat has been completed, profoundly damaging the integrity of the court," said Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, referring to Republicans casting aside Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, who would have tilted the court to the left for the first time in decades.
Judge Gorsuch will be sworn in on Monday, in two ceremonies: a private session at the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside, and a public event at the White House, where Justice Anthony M. Kennedy will administer a second oath. A week from Monday, he will hear his first arguments. A ninth chair, absent since the spring of 2016, will be waiting for him.