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Neil Gorsuch

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Surrounded by family and his soon-to-be Supreme Court colleagues, Neil Gorsuch took the first of two oaths on Monday as he prepared to take his seat on the court and restore its conservative majority.

The 49-year-old appeals court judge from Colorado is being sworn in after a bruising fight that saw Republicans change the rules for approving high court picks — over the fierce objection of Democrats.

The Supreme Court is seen in the morning in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

Wondering when Supreme Court nominations became so politically contentious? Only about 222 years ago — when the Senate voted down George Washington's choice for chief justice.

 

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This year's brouhaha sees Senate Democrats and Republicans bracing for a showdown over President Donald Trump's nominee, Neil Gorsuch. It's the latest twist in the political wrangling that has surrounded the high court vacancy almost from the moment Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Judge Neil Gorsuch has been grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 18 hours of questioning over two separate days, and the proceedings are not finished yet.

On Thursday, the committee hears testimony from witnesses about Gorsuch's qualifications to be a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) during a hearing at the Senate Finance Committee, May, 2013.
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

Sen. Johnny Isakson is recuperating from his second back surgery this year at his Georgia home, complicating Republican leaders' plans as they count the votes for the GOP health care overhaul and a Supreme Court nominee.

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Aides to the third-term Republican senator said Wednesday that Isakson is still awaiting his physician's approval to travel back to Washington.

 

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It is day three of what is expected to be three days of hearings on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the high court seat left vacant in February 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, begins his three-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Al Such / WABE

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress: