It took a lot longer than Republicans expected but they finally got Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. While many Americans felt that Gorsuch deserved a spot on the Court, Chuck Shumer and Diane Feinstein fought back even though they voted to give him his Federal judgeship a decade ago. But getting him on the court wasn’t without controversy as Republicans had to use their nuclear option, which would allow them to confirm a Supreme Court nominee with a simple majority.
The drawn out battle over the Supreme Court shows the first time that the high court has become a partisan issue. Previously the court had been more highly regarded and politics were far rarer in this arena.
This new judge does little to change the status quo of the court a year ago when Antonin Scalia still sat on the bench. But going forward the next few justice picks could elicit a bigger battle. As liberals Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer step closer to the end of their judgeship's concerns lie over the ability of the Senate to agree on viable options when the time comes.
With the future uncertain many lawmakers need to be looking ahead with a plan on replacing these judges. The likelihood of the Senate changing power could be likely in 2018 or 2020 and the use of the nuclear option gives the power to that simple majority to pick the Justices.
The rule change means that people’s votes may have more power based upon the Senators that they vote for. Because this new precedent with Gorsuch means that Democrat Senators going forward, and Republican Senators going forward will almost always side with a Justice that aligns with their views and won’t vote for someone from the other side as we saw with most Democrats this go round.
Be prepared for a very strong fight in the Senate for the next seat on the bench.
Photo Credit: Google labeled for reuse