Monday, 29 May, 2017

Neil Gorsuch sworn in as US Supreme Court justice

Gorsuch takes Supreme Court seat after divisive confirmationMore Gorsuch takes Supreme Court seat after divisive confirmationMore
Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 06:56

The White House event shortly after 11 a.m. followed a private swearing-in two hours earlier at the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. officiated. The court, with four liberals nominated by Democratic presidents and four mostly conservative justices picked by Republicans, would schedule rehearings in those cases so Gorsuch could break the tie.

"I've always heard", Trump said, "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".

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said Gorsuch got confirmed because he mostly kept quiet.

Trump - then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee - released a potential list of conservative jurists he would pick in May, should he be elected president.

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. He said, "I got it done in the first 100 days!"

Five of the nine justices now on the court have been appointed by a Republican president. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department limits the concealed-carry permits to those who can show they have specific, particular needs for self-defense. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president", he said at the time. "You never see her, she says nothing, and her approval ratings are over 50 percent", Lott told the Boston Globe.

Several contentious cases waiting final ruling from the Supreme Court is in the offing for the now complete bench and analysts believe Gorsuch, a conservative in his past rulings, will soon make his presence felt in the Court.

During the Senate confirmation hearings, Democrats grilled Gorsuch on a variety of subjects, from wiretapping and torture to guns and abortion. The oath was administered during the White House ceremony by Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Gorsuch once served as a law clerk.

If/when the Democrats regain control of the Senate, will they bring back the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees?

Gorsuch and his colleagues must also address a case challenging North Carolina's voter identification law, key portions of which were struck down by an appellate court.

Gorsuch was praised for his faithfulness to the Constitution and his ability to split his personal preferences from the law. The state constitution bars the use of public funds "directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion".

The 49-year-old appeals court judge from Colorado was sworn in during the ceremony by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he once served as a law clerk. They say that the playground is for the entire community, not just members of the church.

Scalia's widow, Maureen, also attended the ceremony.