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The Republican-Majority Senate Just Handed Trump a Major Win

The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After most Democrats voted to filibuster President Donald Trump’s nominee, Republicans (who didn’t have enough cloture votes) changed the rules to allow a simple majority vote of 51 as opposed to 60.

The high court once again will be comprised of nine justices, with no deadlocked decisions. From Reuters:

“He’s going to make an incredible addition to the court,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

McConnell said Gorsuch, who also worked in the Justice Department under Republican former President George W. Bush and is the son of the first woman to head the Environmental Protection Agency, has “sterling credentials, an excellent record and an ideal judicial temperament.”

Illustrating the importance of the moment, Vice President Mike Pence served as the Senate’s presiding officer during the vote.

At age 49, Gorsuch is the youngest nominee since Justice Clarence Thomas, nominated at age 43.

Gorsuch, who has been touted as the ideological successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, sided with Christian retailer Hobby Lobby when the case was before the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Employers were required to offer health insurance plans that included drugs that might induce abortions, and Hobby Lobby challenged the mandate. The high court ruled that the mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that closely held corporations can’t be required to provide contraception coverage.

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