Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – After a bitter process that lead to an historic rule change in the U.S. Senate, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the 113th Supreme Court Justice.
Senate democrats were upset President Obama’s pick never got a hearing, and they stuck to their guns. The partisan standoff may have forever changed the standard for confirming Supreme Court nominees.
Monday, Gorsuch raised his right arm to the square, and was sworn in to fill the vacancy left behind by late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“I am humbled by the trust placed in me today. I will never forget that to whom much is given, much will be expected,” said Justice Gorsuch.
Partisan fighting pushed this day off more than a year. Senate republicans refused to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, and democrats filibustered Gorsuch.
He was confirmed on a 54-45 vote after republicans pulled out the “nuclear option,” and changed the rules from a super majority, to a simple majority.
Inside Utah Politics contributor Charlie Luke say it’s a dangerous precedent.
“A simple majority for something as important as the Supreme Court seat is bad for the United States Senate, and it’s bad for this country,” said Luke, Salt Lake City Councilman.
Luke, a democrat says both parties are to blame, but he says his party picked the wrong fight with Gorsuch.
He’s concerned about the possibility of President Trump getting the opportunity to replace a liberal member of the court.
“He was replacing a very conservative justice, he is conservative, I don’t think anyone was really questioning his qualifications, and when I look at the other people on the list Trump could have picked, it could have been much, much worse,” said Luke.
It is possible for senators to change the rules back to a super majority, but one thing we’ve learned from this process is getting to 60 votes may be a thing of the past for any nominee.