As promised, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ushered the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to a final vote on confirmation today. Despite an unprecedented move by Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to mount a partisan filibuster against a nominee to the high court, Gorsuch was approved by a bipartisan 54-45 majority vote in the Senate.
Gorsuch has been praised from many quarters, including by the American Bar Association, which gave him its highest possible rating – a rating that Democrat senators have lauded as the “gold standard.” However, bowing to pressure from vocal elements of the liberal base, most Democrat senators chose to try to block his nomination using a procedural tactic – a partisan filibuster. Notably, such a move has been resisted by legislators for years and is one for which President Barack Obama expressed regret last year when recalling his part as a senator in a small Democrat group’s failed attempt to so block the nomination of Justice Samuel Alito.
After Democrats followed through on their filibuster threat, Sen. McConnell moved to ensure a final vote by securing majority consensus in an effort to “restore the norms and traditions of the Senate.” Speaking on the Senate floor, he said, “This isn’t really about the nominee…. It’s part of a much larger story, another extreme escalation in the Left’s never-ending drive to politicize the courts and the confirmation process. It’s a fight they, and Democrats, have waged for decades with a singular aim: securing raw power, no matter the cost to country or institution.”
Prior to the vote, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, re-iterated his belief that Gorsuch should be confirmed to the Supreme Court and thanked McConnell for standing by precedent and enabling voters to speak prior to the filling of the late Justice Scalia’s seat. He said, “The people did speak and, in a shock to Washington, gave us, not only the President, but also the Senate we have today.”
Stating his support for McConnell’s efforts, Johnson added, “It’s time for some in the Senate to stop bowing to every wish of Planned Parenthood and others among the radical Left who are still in vehement denial and are promulgating anger and flagrant obstruction. It’s time for statesmanship to prevail.”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: April 7, 2017