Gorsuch sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Gorsuch sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Gorsuch was sworn in Monday as the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, placing a devoted conservative in the seat once occupied by Justice Antonin Scalia and handing President Trump a victory in his push to shape the court for decades to come.

Two hours later at the White House, Gorsuch took his constitutional oath as a federal employee from Justice Anthony Kennedy, the longest-serving current justice, who employed Gorsuch as a law clerk almost a quarter-century ago.

The first ceremony took place at about 9 a.m.in the justices' conference room, with Gorsuch's family members present and Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. administering the oath required by the Constitution.

"I can not tell you how honored I am to have here today my mentor, Justice Kennedy, administer the judicial oath, a handsome oath, as he did for me 11 years ago when I became a Circuit judge", Gorsuch said, adding that he was "humbled" by the role.

Gorsuch was praised for his faithfulness to the Constitution and his ability to split his personal preferences from the law.

Scalia had anchored the court's conservative wing for almost three decades before he died in February 2016. Obama nominee Merrick Garland was refused even token consideration, much less a hearing. Scalia's most notorious action was the court ruling in Bush v. Gore, which suppressed the recounting of ballots in Florida after the 2000 presidential election and awarded the White House to Bush.

Gorsuch is the youngest nominee since Clarence Thomas, who was 43 when confirmed in 1991.

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Like nearly all court nominees, Garland has said virtually nothing of political substance and has refused to speculate how he would vote on cases that should come before the court.

Trump called Gorsuch's nomination process "the most transparent and accessible in history".

Senate Democrats first employed the nuclear option back in 2013 to advance former President Obama's judicial nominations, although the Supreme Court was not included in the rule change. Gorsuch is widely considered similar to Scalia, both being what are termed "constitutional originalists".

This was the second of two oaths taken by Supreme Court's newest justice on Monday.

Trump's first months in the White House have otherwise been plagued by legislative missteps on healthcare and legal challenges to his immigration travel ban. I applaud conservatives in the Senate for showing leadership and changing the rules to go around the liberal's filibuster and bring Judge Gorsuch's confirmation up for a simple majority vote.

A few hours after the swearing-in ceremony, a Pennsylvania college honored Scalia and Ginsburg with its annual award for civility in public life.

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