Neil Gorsuch is confirmed with 54 votes, including three Democrats. Since Chief Justice Roberts was confirmed in 2005 and received 22 Democratic votes, the number of Senate members willing to cross the aisle and vote for an opposing President’s nominee has declined. Only four Democrats voted for Alito in 2005, nine Republicans for Sotomayor in 2009 and five Republicans for Kagan in 2010. That was down from double-digit support in the 1990s. Even Justice Thomas, who only received 52 votes, managed to attract eleven Democrats.
KOA, I said the most difficult vote was Michael Bennet’s. The state’s editorial pages endorsed Gorsuch, as did most of the legal establishment and several Democratic officials. Bennet’s vote didn’t affect the outcome. He voted for cloture and it lost. His vote against confirmation did not stop Gorsuch from taking his seat.
But, Bennet keeps his solidarity with Senate leadership and at least mollifies the Democratic resistance. Generally, a careful play in a tight spot.
DEFCON One (Most Severe) – The nuclear option has arrived
Gorsuch faces filibuster
Gorsuch has Colorado support