On a 54-45 vote Friday morning, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court as an associate justice, restoring what many believe is a philosophical balance on the high court.
The vote, with three Democrats joining the majority Republicans, was a defeat for Capitol Hill anti-gunners and the gun prohibition lobby. It was a victory for President Donald Trump, and an affirmation that he kept a campaign promise to fill the vacancy with someone in the tradition of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away about 15 months ago in Texas. Scalia authored the landmark 2008 Heller ruling that affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms beyond service in a militia.
Anti-gun Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) the Senate Minority Leader, displayed the same sore loser attitude that has permeated Capitol Hill politics since Trump won the presidency in November. He was quoted by Fox News asserting that there will be “less faith in the Supreme Court.”
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to keep and Bear Arms, said in a statement, “The court has been shy one critical vote and voice for more than a year. We are delight that time has come to an end.”
Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, congratulated Gorsuch on his confirmation, noting in a statement, “Gorsuch is an excellent choice to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Justice Scalia.”
The confirmation also signifies a larger defeat for Democrats, in that it followed by one day the Senate “nuclear option” vote to confirm a nominee by a simple majority rather than a minimum 60-vote majority.
“Judge Gorsuch demonstrated during two days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he is eminently qualified to occupy the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year,” Gottlieb observed.
There are already rumors that there may soon be another vacancy on the high court, perhaps sometime this summer. That would set up perhaps another partisan conflict in the Senate.