Neil Gorsuch sworn in as US Supreme Court justice

April 11, 2017 7:07 am

President claps for after he took the judicial oath during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, DC, April 10, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court, marking a victory for a Republican president who has suffered multiple setbacks at the hands of Democrats in his less than three months in office.
President Donald Trump showered Gorsuch with praise during the inauguration ceremony at the White House on Monday, saying the appointment fulfilled one of his major campaign promises.
Describing the former appeals court judge from Colorado as “deeply faithful to the constitution of ,” Trump said the jurist will rule “not on his personal preferences but based on a fair and objective reading of the law.”
“I have no doubt you will go down as one of the truly great justices in the history of the Supreme Court,” he said.
The US president further stated that Gorsuch, 49, fitted in the mold of Antonin Scalia, one of the nine supreme court judges, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and maintained the position until his death in 2016.
Gorsuch, for his turn, pledged to be a “faithful servant of the constitution and laws of this great nation.”
Acknowledging that it was not easy to continue Scalia’s legacy, he told the late judge’s family that “I won’t ever forget that the seat I inherit today is that of a very, very great man.”
Big victory
Trump regarded Gorsuch’s appointment as one of the big achievements of his first 100 days, which he would complete on May 1, in office, predicting that it would usher in “a new faith in America.”
“I’ve always heard that the most important thing that a president of the United States does is appoint people – hopefully great people like this appointment – to the United States Supreme Court. And I can say this is a great honor. And I got it done in the first 100 days – that’s even nice,” Trump said.
“You think that’s easy?” he joked as the audience burst into laughter.
He also thanked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for helping him secure the top job amid extreme partisanship in Congress.
“Although he could not be here today, I especially want to express our gratitude to Senator Mitch McConnell for all he did to make this achievement possible,” he said of the Kentucky senator, who stonewalled former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the job, Merrick Garland.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo by AFP)

McConnell blocked Garland for 10 straight months, arguing that Obama was in his last year and the long-vacant post should be filled by the next president. Gorsuch’s appointment ended the longest SCOTUS vacancy.
To neuter extreme opposition from Democrats, Republicans voted last week to prohibit a procedural tactic called a filibuster against Supreme Court nominees, paving the way for senators to confirm Gorsuch by a simple majority.
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