Kentucky’s own Mitch McConnell has proven his mettle yet again, taking an unprecedented, yet wholly necessary, action to get a uniquely qualified Supreme Court nominee confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Obstinate Democrats, acting purely on partisan motivations, had tried to block Neil Gorsuch, not because they questioned his credentials, but simply because he was nominated by a Republican president. McConnell, as the Senate majority leader, put an end to that nonsense with the help of his GOP colleagues.
The Senate voted 54-45 on Friday in favor of Gorsuch who has served admirably on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Only three Democrats broke ranks to vote in favor of Gorsuch. Each of them are up for election in states that Trump carried last fall, so voting against the nominee could have been costly.
The confirmation was a victory for McConnell and for President Donald Trump, who nominated Gorsuch. But, more importantly, it is a major victory for conservative Christians who flooded to the polls last November to give Trump an unexpected win in large part because they wanted him, not his opponent, to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.
When Gorsuch is sworn in Monday, a conservative voting majority will be restored to the Supreme Court.
Gorsuch's confirmation Friday was preceded the day before by a Senate floor showdown with Democrats trying to deny hm the 60 votes needed to proceed. Republicans then acted unilaterally to lower the vote threshold on Supreme Court filibusters from 60 to a simple majority in the 100-member Senate.
McConnell deserves accolades for his leadership that put a man of Gorsuch’s caliber on the high court. Gorsuch is widely known as a man of sterling credentials, an excellent record, and an ideal judicial temperament. He has been praised by people across the political spectrum as thoughtful, brilliant and articulate. Those traits were on full display during his confirmation hearing.
Judge James Robertson, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, said Gorsuch “is superbly well-prepared and well-qualified to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. There is no real dispute about that.”
Judge John Kane, an appointee of former President Jimmy Carter, said “I’m not sure we could expect better or that better presently exists” than Gorsuch.
“There’s a reason Neil Gorsuch enjoys the support of a bipartisan majority of the Senate,” McConnell said. “He’s an exceptional choice.”
And an exceptional Kentuckian played a huge role in getting Gorsuch in place. For that, Kentuckians have reason to be proud of McConnell. And all Americans have reason to be grateful to him.