Neil Gorsuch heads to a Supreme Court changed by his appointment

The United States Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch Friday, elevating the Colorado native to the nation’s highest court after more than a year of unprecedented stonewalling by both parties that culminated Thursday in the chamber “going nuclear.”

The decision by Senate Republicans to avoid a filibuster by invoking the so-called “nuclear option” on Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation – lowering the number of votes required to end debate from 60, which typically necessitates some cross-party support, to 51 – is viewed by many as a blow to a chamber designed to moderate the passions of other political branches.

But the blast radius is also expected to reverberate around the Supreme Court itself. Some legal experts fear that scrapping the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees could transform the high court into a political body similar to Congress: subject to the ideologies of…

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