Gorsuch sworn in as new Supreme Court justice
Gorsuch on Monday was sworn in as the country"s latest Supreme Court justice after being nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate, thus filling the high court seat that had been vacant for more than a year.
Neil Gorsuch on Monday was sworn in as the country's latest Supreme Court justice after being nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate, thus filling the high court seat that had been vacant for more than a year.
At a public ceremony in the White House Rose Garden with the other high court justices and assorted other officials in attendance, Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the oath of office to Gorsuch, who becomes the 101st member of the high court since its establishment.
Before Gorsuch took the oath of office, the president made a few remarks to those attending the ceremony to emphasize the values of the new justice and also to remember Justice Antonin Scalia, who occupied the high court seat until his unexpected death in February 2016.
Trump emphasized Gorsuch's lengthy career as a federal judge and said that "he will decide cases not based on his personal preferences but based on a fair and objective reading of the law."
In addition, Trump stressed Gorsuch's "unquestioned integrity" and his "unmatched qualifications," calling him "a man who is deeply faithful to the Constitution of the United States."
"And I got it done in the first 100 days. That's even nice. You think that's easy?" Trump bragged to the attendees, regarding the process of nominating, confirming and then swearing in Gorsuch.
However, Gorsuch has become the first Supreme Court justice to be approved by a simple majority in the Senate, after the Republicans, who hold a majority in the upper house, changed the legislative rules to avoid Democrats blocking his taking a seat on the court.
Normally, justices on the high court must receive bipartisan support, although they may be nominated by Republican or Democratic presidents, but Gorsuch's case is one of the most polarized in history and GOP legislators could not muster the 60 votes normally required, so they changed the rules to allow him to be confirmed last Friday with only 51 votes.
Republicans had refused to vote for former President Barack Obama's nominee for the high court shortly after Scalia's death, and the seat remained vacant until Trump won the White House and nominated a conservative candidate - Gorsuch - that Republicans pushed through despite Democratic opposition.
With Gorsuch's arrival, the high court's conservative bent that prevailed prior to Scalia's death has been reestablished, given that five of the justices have been nominated by Republican presidents and four by Democrats.