So. Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court with the assistance of 3 Senate Democrats and all the Republicans today. The vote tally was 54-45, which was entirely expected. There are no surprises in Mitch McConnell's Senate.
Now what happens? He will be sworn in on Monday, taking a constitutional oath administered by Chief Justice Roberts and a judicial oath to be administered by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Gorsuch will immediately join his colleagues to hear pending cases. Indeed, he's had a transition team of assistants in there since his nomination, so it won't take much to get him up to speed.
Reuters reports that there is plenty of work waiting for him.
There are appeals pending on expanding gun rights to include carrying concealed firearms in public, state voting restrictions critics say are aimed at reducing minority turnout, and allowing business owners to object on religious grounds to serving gay couples. All three could lead to landmark rulings if taken up.
On April 17, the justices will begin hearing a new round of oral arguments, including a closely watched case on the separation of church and state focusing on whether a Missouri church was improperly denied state funds. The court is nearing the end of its current term, which runs from October to June.
Gorsuch also would play a key role in important cases the justices already have agreed to hear in their next term, including a bid by employers to prevent workers from bringing class action claims, a goal of big business.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that businesses will be able to discriminate against LGBT people, concealed carry will turn into some kind of godforsaken right, voting rights will likely be limited, and corporations will get richer.
Judge Merrick Garland's seat is now held by an ALEC acolyte. For decades to come.