Democrats are moving quickly to approve Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation as a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Tom Carper, D.
Va., voted Thursday to give Gorsuch the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle.
Democrats said they needed to confirm Gorsuch because they needed the vote on a rule that would require President Donald Trump’s nominee to recuse himself from the case of a white supremacist who stabbed to death a black woman in a racially motivated attack.
Trump has refused to recede from the ruling in the case.
But the Senate was moving quickly Thursday to approve Gorsuch.
He was approved by a vote of 49-47.
“With this historic vote, the Senate is confirming Neil Gorsuch to be a lifetime Supreme Court Justice,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D.-W.
“This is a strong confirmation.
This is a great nomination.”
The nomination would be the first from a woman to the high court.
It was one of three votes in the Senate, along with Vice President Mike Pence’s confirmation of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat of the late Antonin Scalia, to approve his confirmation.
Manchin and Murray voted in favor of Gorsuch, saying he has the temperament and qualifications to serve on the court.
But Manchin was joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D., who argued Gorsuch has “strong and deep conservative values.”
Warren voted against the rule.
“The president has failed in his promise to be an ally to minorities and women, and I think the president needs to take a long look at his record on that,” Warren said.
Gorsuch voted against a rule to limit the number of days a president can be in office.
“I think the time is long overdue to take on that important role,” Gorsuch said.
He said the rule could limit the ability of Congress to review the administration’s judicial nominations.
“Congress should not have a role in how the president picks judges,” Gorsuch added.
The Senate voted to confirm Judge Thomas Hardiman, a lifetime nominee, in March, and confirmed another lifetime nominee in April.
Gorsuch was confirmed by a voice vote.
The Supreme Court’s liberal majority is set to vote next on two of Gorsuch’s nominees.
Two Democrats are expected to join the liberal majority, including former Justice Stephen Breyer.
In January, the court unanimously agreed to hear a case challenging the legality of Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
The court has not ruled on the issue since a lower court struck down the ban in March.
The case, United States v.
San Francisco-based Calguns Foundation, could lead to an expansive ruling on the constitutionality of Trump and his administration’s immigration policies.
The justices also are expected on Thursday to hear arguments in two lawsuits against Trump and the White House.