Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court with a 54 to 45 vote Friday morning that followed Senate Republicans using the “nuclear option” to bypass a Democratic filibuster. The entire Senate Republican caucus joined by U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) voted to confirm Gorsuch. Gorsuch was appointed by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Below is the reaction to his confirmation from Republican elected officials and leaders from conservative groups:
President Donald Trump congratulated Gorsuch on his “historic” confirmation:
It is a great honor to announce the historic confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation process was one of the most transparent and accessible in history, and his judicial temperament, exceptional intellect, unparalleled integrity, and record of independence makes him the perfect choice to serve on the Nation’s highest court. As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution.
I would also like to thank Justice Scalia and his wife Maureen for their immeasurable service to this country. Justice Scalia’s legacy of fidelity to our laws and our Constitution will never be forgotten.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, held a press conference.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) also sent a statement:
I am thrilled that a bipartisan majority has voted to confirm Judge Gorsuch, who is eminently qualified to serve on our nation’s highest court. Throughout his career, Judge Gorsuch has shown an unparalleled depth of understanding and respect for our Constitution. He is dedicated to interpreting the text of the Constitution and statutes as they are written, rather than attempting to legislate from the bench. It’s easy to see why Judge Gorsuch was previously confirmed by the Senate with unanimous support – including the support of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The American people are behind Judge Gorsuch, and I look forward to seeing him take his seat on the bench very soon.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reacted:
Today’s Senate vote was a historic one. Ten, 20, 30 years from now, this vote will still be having an ongoing impact on the liberty and constitutional rights of millions of Americans.
Today, the Senate followed through on a promise made to the American people more than a year ago, after Justice Scalia passed away. Justice Scalia was a lion of the law, and a hero to many. His death transformed November’s election into a referendum on the Supreme Court.
President Trump promised to nominate a principled jurist in the mold of Justice Scalia, not a liberal judicial activist who would undermine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And in November, millions of conservatives across this country showed up to protect the Constitution and protect that vacant seat for a principled originalist. Despite an unprecedented Democratic filibuster, today is a day that the Republican majority kept its promise to protect our fundamental rights, to protect free speech, to protect religious liberty, and to protect the Second Amendment. Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation is a critical step to defend the long-term liberty of millions of Americans, and for that reason, today is a day to celebrate.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) applauded the vote.
Today Judge Gorsuch takes his black robe to the Supreme Court and that’s an important civics lesson for our kids. He’s a judge’s judge who knows that his job isn’t to wear a red or blue jersey under that black robe and re-write laws. His duty is to faithfully uphold the Constitution. That’s good for Nebraskans, good for the rule of law, and good for the next generation of Americans.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) congratulated Gorsuch for his confirmation.
Justice Gorsuch has handled a contentious nomination process with the utmost professionalism and poise, while consistently demonstrating his loyalty to the Constitution. I look forward to seeing him bring these traits to his duties on the Supreme Court, and I congratulate him on his confirmation.
U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) tweeted:
Judge Gorsuch is one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in our nation’s history. I was honored to vote to confirm him. pic.twitter.com/e5XvKFNUL6
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) April 7, 2017
From U.S. Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID):
I wholeheartedly support Judge Gorsuch for confirmation to the Supreme Court. He understands and is focused on the principle that a judge is a servant of the law, responsible for interpreting and applying the Constitution and laws of the land as they are written, and not to be a maker of laws from the bench. Those who have encountered him as a legal advocate, an adversary in court, or a presiding judge all praise his fundamental fairness and strict adherence to the law. The true American vision of our system of justice is one in which the judge fairly and impartially finds the facts and applies the law. The law is supreme and the facts decide the day. In both his hearings and his meeting with me, he told me his politics and personal views are not relevant to judging a case. This is the ideal view of how a judge should act in our judicial system. As a servant of the law with an outstanding record of fidelity to the Constitution, Judge Gorsuch will help the Court guarantee all parties receive fair and equal justice. I congratulate Judge Gorsuch on his confirmation.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a video message:
Congressman Steve King (R-IA) tweeted:
Congratulations 2 Neil Gorsuch, Marie Louise, Grassley(giant thanks) SCOTUS, Trump & the USA. MCGA, Let's Make the Constitution Great Again!
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) April 7, 2017
Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) tweeted:
Judge Gorsuch's thoughtfulness, Colorado values, and experience will allow him to apply the law justly, according to its original intent.
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 7, 2017
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted:
Congrats Neil Gorsuch, our new Supreme Court justice! pic.twitter.com/OPbQ8UuB8N
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 7, 2017
Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) tweeted:
His record indicates he will firmly defend the Constitution and protect the rights the Founding Fathers envisioned for the American people.
— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) April 7, 2017
Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX) tweeted:
I’m very pleased Judge Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. #SCOTUS
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) April 7, 2017
Michael Farris, President and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, responded to the confirmation:
ADF congratulates Neil Gorsuch, who will be the newest member of the high court and a natural successor to Justice Scalia. His confirmation should surprise no one given the high praise he has received from people across the ideological spectrum. The American Bar Association gave him its highest rating, and his integrity, professional competence, and judicial demeanor have earned him respect from all quarters. ADF hopes that he will continue to interpret the Constitution as our founders intended and affirm our most fundamental freedom—religious liberty, which includes the right not to be discriminated against because of one’s religion. This basic principle will be at stake right away on April 19 when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said that the Senate can take the same approach with the next appointment.
In a rare moment of courage and commitment to a conservative cause, the Senate has won a victory that will help preserve the Constitution, probably for decades to come. Our activists put on the pressure to fight for a better judge than Merrick Garland by making almost 1.7 million contacts last year to Senate offices, and our community drove nearly 300,000 contacts in support of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination.
The fortitude culminating in the change of precedent yesterday paves the way for President Trump to fill any other vacancies on the Court in the years to come with more constitutionalists. Imagine what else we could achieve if Republican leaders in Congress would fight for conservative causes all the time.
Majorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List, applauded the confirmation:
We congratulate Judge Gorsuch on his well-deserved confirmation. The swift fulfillment of President Trump’s commitment to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices is a tremendous win for the pro-life movement. Susan B. Anthony List has been rallying the pro-life grassroots behind Judge Gorsuch’s nomination for months, including rallies in seven states where pro-lifers came out in force to urge their Senators to confirm Gorsuch. Pro-abortion ideologues, led by Senator Schumer, could not derail a nominee of Neil Gorsuch’s caliber. Their obstructionism will only hurt Democrats up for re-election in 2018.
Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden applauded the vote:
Judge Gorsuch will make an outstanding Supreme Court Justice. His confirmation is a victory for all Americans who believe in the rule of law and upholding the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, including our fundamental liberties contained in the Bill of Rights. His understanding of the proper role of judges as interpreters of the law as it is written – not legislators with a political agenda – will be an important protection against improper administrative overreach, which has led to an erosion in the proper constitutional roles of the three branches of the federal government.
It’s disappointing that Democrats such as Senators Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill decided to grandstand and obstruct Judge Gorsuch’s nomination rather than consider him on the merits. Nonetheless, we congratulate President Trump on nominating such a well-qualified individual and we applaud the Senate for confirming him.
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, had this to say:
Today we witnessed a historic victory for our country. One that proves government ‘for the People, by the People’ is alive and well. The Senate overcame historic partisan obstructionism and restored original Senate precedent.
On behalf of our members, I want to thank Leader McConnell, as well as Sen. Grassley, for their decisive leadership, which gave the American people a voice in November on the kind of justice they believed should fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
I also want to thank President Trump for keeping his promise to nominate a constitutionalist judge to the Supreme Court. It is hard to imagine someone better suited to serve on our nation’s highest court than Judge Gorsuch.
Judge Gorsuch follows the law wherever it leads, regardless of personal opinion or political preference. His constitutional jurisprudence makes him an ardent defender of the rights that keep us free.
Judge Gorsuch will elevate the proper role of the judiciary and refuse to legislate from the bench. He is what America needs in this time of partisan dysfunction and obstructionism from the far left-the bipartisan support for his confirmation is proof.
I would be remiss not to thank the Democrats who had the conviction to listen to their constituents rather than toeing the party line. I applaud their willingness to rise above the political fray in favor of their constituents.
In spite of partisan gridlock, we see the symphony of the three branches of government and their checks and balances function as our Founders intended.
Our prayers continue to be with Judge, soon-to-be Justice, Gorsuch and his family as they begin this new chapter.
Former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, president of Heritage Foundation, applauded the vote:
Congratulations to Neil Gorsuch, the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. This morning, the Senate came together to confirm the 113th justice of the Supreme Court with a vote of 54-45.
Justice Gorsuch embodies what a good judge should be: He’s impartial, applies the law fairly, and is an ardent supporter of the written Constitution. This isn’t just a monumental win for the conservative movement, this is a monumental win for the American people.
What stands out the most with his confirmation is how transparent the administration has been with this process since day one. President Trump is the first President to release a list of potential Supreme Court candidates, with the help of conservative legal experts, and let the American people decide if those candidates deserved to serve on the Court.
President Trump should be applauded for carrying through on his promise to appoint good judges from this list, and conservatives hope he continues to use the list for any future appointments.
Additionally, this process has established a new precedent of transparency for future administrations.