Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this morning as the 113th Supreme Court Justice, after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch’s confirmation is a victory for President Trump, who has struggled to achieve his campaign promises of a travel ban and health care reform, reports ABC.
“I can say this is a great honor. And I got it done in the first 100 days. That’s even nice. You think that’s easy,” Trump said of Gorsuch’s nomination, speaking at a public ceremony from the White House today.
Gorusch, 49, now fills the seat left vacant by the death of conservative Scalia, and the court is back to its previous balance: four conservative, four liberals and Kennedy as the swing vote.
“To my new colleagues and the staff of the Supreme Court, thank you for the very warm welcome. I look forward to many happy years together,” Gorsuch said from the Rose Garden with Trump beaming behind him.
Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the oath of office to Gorsuch while his wife, Marie Louise Gorsuch, held the family bible. The couple’s two daughters and Scalia’s widow were present for the ceremony. Gorsuch had already been sworn in behind closed doors at the Supreme Court building earlier this morning.
Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate after a bruising fight when McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option, which allowed Republicans to end debate with a simple majority and subsequently push through the nomination.
Trump gave a shout-out to the Kentucky senator: “I especially want to express our gratitude to Senator Mitch McConnell for all that he did to make this achievement possible.”
Gorsuch was a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. He attended Harvard Law and has a Ph.D. from Oxford, where he was a Marshall scholar. He was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2006 and confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote.
Today also had another piece of historic significance – Kennedy became the first Supreme Court justice to serve with his former law clerk.
“This is a very, very special moment because many years ago a young Neil Gorsuch started his legal career as a law clerk to Justice Kennedy,” Trump said, adding that it’s “a fitting testament to Justice Kennedy’s impact.”
Gorsuch’s first big case will be when the Supreme Court takes up a case about government funding and religious organizations.
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