Washington, – President Donald Trump’s choice to fill a vacant seat on the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Friday after the president’s party was forced to change Senate rules to overcome Democratic opposition.

Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by a vote of 55 to 45 in the 100-seat Senate. The vote came a day after the Republican party, which holds a Senate majority, changed the rules, which previously required 60 votes to confirm a Supreme Court justice.

Democrats objected to Gorsuch’s judicial record in which he has supported corporate interests over labor. Their opposition meant that Gorsuch would not get the required 60 votes, leading to the controversial rule change.

Now all presidential nominees will be confirmed by a simple majority vote. Votes on legislation still require 60 votes. The move to a majority vote will increase partisan divide in the Senate. Gorsuch took the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year.

Democrats were particularly upset with Republicans who had denied a hearing for President Barack Obama’s replacement for Scalia, 11 months before Obama left office. Because the majority Republicans refused to hold hearings for Obama’s nominee, the Supreme Court has operated for more than a year with only eight judges.

Gorsuch will push an already conservative court further to the right. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency