Today marked the day Judge Neil Gorsuch made US history. In a 54-45 Senate vote, a report from the NY Times states the 49-year old Neil Gorsuch was officially confirmed as the 113th US Supreme Court Justice.

Gorsuch is now the first Justice to not receive 60% of Senate vote

Gorsuch, a native of Colorado, became the first Justice to enter the lifelong seat by "unconventional means." In an unprecedented move, Republicans superseded Democratic opposition and erased decades of protocol by triggering the so-called nuclear option to confirm the judge. This option allowed Republicans to ignore a rule stating any Justice had to be accepted by 60% of the Senate, instead allowing Gorsuch's appointment to proceed with only a simple majority vote.

The nuclear option altered the course of American politics

Somewhat ironically, many may remember that current president Donald Trump also entered office without claiming the majority of the nationwide vote. While Republicans cheered the conservative judge's confirmation as a victory, the steps they took in propelling him to the seat altered the course of American politics forever. By bypassing a rule as old as the Constitution itself, Republicans opened the door for future politicians to control the judicial branch as well. The idea of separation of powers was created by the Constitution's founding fathers in an effort to ensure no one branch of government could become too powerful, but by giving the Senate majority the authority to force a Supreme Court nominee to the seat without any opposition, the legislative branch can now have its theoretical cake and eat it too.

Many are concerned about the implications behind Gorsuch's atypical confirmation

Understandably, Democrats (whose filibuster was the reason for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to trigger the nuclear option) are upset by Gorsuch's appointment, but reports claim that even those who supported his confirmation are concerned by the way it came about.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine was one such individual. A statement by Collins after the hearing today revealed that she considered the events "part of a profoundly sad day." Further reports indicate that the reputation of the Supreme Court may also be at stake, as the lone branch designed to be as far removed from politics as possible has instead found itself thrust into the center of a very unstable political landscape.

As for Trump, his first executive appointment of a Justice means he will play a part in America's social arena for years to come, as Gorsuch's relatively young age means he could serve on the Supreme Court for quite some time. In other news, growing tension in Syria after the US launched its first missile attack late last night means the Trump administration won't have time to bask in its relatively victorious day.