GOP Goes Nuclear, Gorsuch confirmed


Neil Gorsuch will advance to take a court seat that Republicans refused to let President Barack Obama fill .

UPDATE: April 10: Neil Gorsuch sworn in as 113th Supreme Court Justice.

Senate Republicans have confirmed Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate Republications used the nuclear option which bypassed a Democratic filibuster which allowed the nomination to go through without a majority vote. A filibuster is an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.

Republicans needed 60 votes comprised of at least eight Democrats and independents joining the 52-seat majority to proceed to a final vote. The vote failed 55-45, and Republicans had to choose between allowing the president’s nominee to fail or to use the nuclear option.

Supreme Court judges are appointed for a lifetime. Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more. Gorsuch is a judge with conservative stands and a conservative voting record. According to PBS News Hour, Gorsuch ruled against the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and in 2013, he assisted in ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and the owners of the Christian-owned arts and crafts chain, which objected on religious grounds to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage requirement.

Gorsuch is a graduate of Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, and served as a Supreme Court law clerk and a lawyer at a law firm in Washington Washington and at the Justice Department. In 2006, he joined the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver.

With Gorsuch’s confirmation, some students are voicing concern over the use of the nuclear option all together. Evan Velasco, managing editor of Citrus College’s Logos magazine said, “It sets a dangerous precedent moving forward. The fact that now any controlling house can essential freeze out the other side will only lead to less bipartisan negotiations down the road.”

Former President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court in January after a seat became open when longtime conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. Senate Republicans refused to meet with Garland or even consider his nomination. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell announced that “there would be no hearings, no votes, no action whatsoever, on any Supreme Court nomination until the American people get to vote on a new president.”

Velasco said he believes the nuclear option is going to lead to future issues in negotiation between Republicans and Democrats.

“To me using the nuclear option eliminates the use of negotiation and working together. It fixes an immediate problem now, but is going to cause more damage years down the road,” Velasco said.