Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Neil Gorsuch Sworn In As Supreme Court Justice

Neil Gorsuch Sworn In As Supreme Court Justice

His credentials include degrees from Columbia, Harvard Law and Oxford and clerkships with two Supreme Court justices, the late Byron White and Kennedy, who will be administering the oath to his protege in the White House Rose Garden. A smiling Trump stood behind his nominee.

All eight other Supreme Court justices attend Gorsuch's ceremonial swearing in, including Anthony Kennedy, who swore in the new justice.

Trump called Gorsuch a "man of great and unquestioned integrity", and said Americans were "blessed" to have him join the high court.

Gorsuch joins the court that is often the final arbiter for presidential policy. His administration also has faced questions about any role the president's associates may have played in alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Trump.

And in a matter of weeks, the court might be called upon to get involved in Trump's second travel ban targeting refugees and those entering the USA from certain countries.

Read the latest on Donald Trump's first 100 days in office. It is possible the Supreme Court, now including Justice Gorsuch, will consolidate and hear the administration's appeals to these injunctions on an expedited basis this spring.

He replaces Scalia, part of the court's conservative wing for almost three decades before he died unexpectedly in February 2016. Trump promised during the campaign to choose Scalia's successor from the 21 names on the list to convince conservatives of the kind of Supreme Court nominations that he would make - an issue of utmost importance to them.

His 66-day confirmation process was swift, but bitterly divisive. Republicans changed Senate rules to prevent that, and Gorsuch was confirmed, 54-45, on a largely party-line vote.

Democrats angrily fought the nomination to the end because McConnell had blocked former president Barack Obama's nominee for the seat, Merrick Garland, after Scalia's sudden death in February 2016. Senate Republicans quickly declared, however, that they would not consider Garland's nomination, saying the choice of the next justice should belong to the next president.

For now, Gorsuch restores the court's conservative tilt. The room will be the setting for what likely will be Gorsuch's first votes when the justices meet Thursday and discuss taking up new cases.

Who wins? Trump, of course-along with the corporations, red states, and conservative activists who are about to triumph at the Supreme Court.

Later, in a public ceremony at the White House, Justice Anthony Kennedy - Gorsuch's former boss - administered the Judicial Oath. Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a gifted writer with a flair for turning legal jargon into plain language people can understand.

The White House swearing-in ceremony was a departure from recent history. New justices on occasion have taken a combined version of the two oaths. But in prior decades, the newly confirmed justices routinely went to the White House to take the oath alongside the president.

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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