U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again declined to reinstate North Carolina's strict voter ID law, which was struck down last year after a court ruled it was intentionally designed to stop African-Americans from voting.

The nation's highest court refused to consider an appeal by North Carolina Republicans, NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

"Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court's refusal to consider an appeal did not signify an opinion on the merits of the case," Fessler says.

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed Friday as the 113th justice to serve on the nation's highest court. The final vote was 54-45, mostly along party lines.

This is how the Senate changes — not with a bang, but with a motion to overturn the ruling of the chair.

By a simple majority vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set a new precedent in the Senate that will ease the confirmation for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Friday, after 30 more hours of debate on the floor.

"This will be the first, and last, partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court justice," said McConnell in a closing floor speech.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Forty-one Democratic senators have now publicly announced that they will vote against ending debate this week on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means Republicans cannot at this time clear the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination. It also sets up an historic vote to end the Senate's filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly convinced that the United States Senate is on a collision course that will permanently change the dynamics of the chamber — and the United States Supreme Court.

There's a growing bipartisan sadness and resignation about next week's showdown over the rules that govern high court nominations. But that doesn't mean there's any serious attempt from either party to avoid it.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

On the final day of the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Senate Democratic leader announced his opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Chuck Schumer said Gorsuch "will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation," setting up a showdown with Republican leaders who may attempt to change Senate rules.

JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES

Today is the 4th and — what is scheduled to be — final day of the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch. Testifying about the Supreme Court nominee will be experts and outside groups. Gorsuch himself will not be taking questions, or in the hearing room.

Those expected to speak on his behalf are judges and former law clerks he has worked with, along with some law school professors and other attorneys. Witnesses called by Democrats, who have concerns about Gorsuch, include other law professors, and representatives from women's and environmental groups.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

NPR Politics team is live blogging the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the high court seat left vacant in February 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Editors' note Monday, 12:55 p.m. ET: Since this story was first published, we have added material from another former student and former law clerks of Gorsuch, as well as more information about Jennifer Sisk's political affiliations. On Tuesday, Gorsuch disputed the allegation himself during his confirmation hearing and explained the lesson he intended to teach.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

President Trump has nominated conservative favorite Judge Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

"Judge Gorsuch has a superb intellect, an unparalleled legal education, and a commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its text. He will make an incredible justice as soon as the Senate confirms him," Trump said in announcing his pick.

President Trump has made his pick to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court.

So now what?

President Trump is set to announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, fulfilling a promise he made to social conservatives on the campaign trail to name someone like the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon whose seat has been vacant for almost a year.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not hear Wisconsin’s John Doe case. John Doe had been looking into whether Gov. Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and third party funders illegally collaborated. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court had ordered an end to the probe, but prosecutors wanted to continue. Monday they lost that petition. Former state Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske says there are several reasons why John Doe likely didn’t make the cut.

The Supreme Court deadlocked when it considered whether President Obama had the authority to shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

The 4-4 tie — announced in a single sentence by the court — deals a major blow to the president and leaves in place a lower court ruling that put his plan on hold.

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