Senate confirms Trump nominee Gorsuch

WASHINGTON (AP) - After witnessing the grueling confirmation process for Judge Neil Gorsuch, it may be hard to believe people have begged off a seat on the Supreme Court.

With the recent failure of Republican healthcare legislation in Congress and with federal courts blocking the president's ban on people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S., securing Gorsuch's confirmation took on even greater importance for Trump, who took office in January.

That paved the way for Gorsuch's confirmation vote Friday, but left lawmakers of both parties bemoaning the undoing of comity in the Senate and warning that the 60-vote filibuster barrier on regular legislation, a key tool to force bipartisan cooperation, could be next to go. The White House says he will be sworn in Monday during a private ceremony at the Supreme Court, followed by a public ceremony at the White House later in the morning.

Gorsuch will be sworn in Monday and will quickly begin confronting cases of effect, including one involving separation of church and state that the justices will take up in less than two weeks. What kind of Supreme Court will we now see if Trump does in fact end up appointing as many new justices as are now reportedly expected?

Justices take two oaths, one required by the Constitution and the other set by federal law.

Robert Harrison was confirmed to the court just two days after President George Washington nominated his former lawyer and military aide.

The Republican majority Senate voted 54-45 in favour of Gorsuch, giving President Donald Trump a major political victory.

The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, bringing a contentious 14-month partisan battle to a close after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Senate Republicans subsequently voted to change the filibuster rules to lower the threshwold of 60 votes of an approval to a simple majority. McConnell refused to hold hearings for President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, a move that angered Democrats but that Republicans now hail as a political master stroke.

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