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The 54-45 vote was also a victory for President Trump, who last year had campaigned on his ability to pick good justices conservatives could rally behind.
Three Democrats back the judge as did all 51 Republicans who were in the chamber voting.
Friday’s vote came a day after Democrats staged a filibuster to block the judge, offering a long — and occasionally conflicting — litany of complaints.
After the filibuster Republicans used the “nuclear option” to alter the interpretation of Senate rules, lowering the level of votes needed to end a filibuster of high court nominees. The new change brings Supreme Court nominees in line with all other nominees, after Democrats used the nuclear option in 2013 to change the rules for those other picks.
Scalia’s seat has sat empty for more than a year, and became a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.
President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat but Republicans, who control the Senate, refused to give him a hearing, much less a floor vote, arguing Mr. Obama was a lame duck and voters should have a say in the pick through the election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who orchestrated the blockade, called it “the most consequential decision I’ve ever been involved in.”
The GOP’s delay gambit paid off with the stunning election of Mr. Trump, who after being sworn in quickly made good on his promise to pick a nominee from a list he released during the campaign.
Democrats say the GOP has stolen the seat. They’d expected the use the seat to tilt the court to the left, replacing Scalia with a more liberal justice.
Once he’s sworn in, Judge Gorsuch will be able to issue decisions on cases the high court has heard this session.
Judge Gorsuch will be the only judge from the west on the high court, as well as the only Episcopalian.