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Facts about Justice Neil Gorsuch and the Supreme Court


Donald Trump revelled in the biggest political victory of his presidency at a White House ceremony on Monday in which his Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch was sworn in, poised to make an instant impact on a court once again dominated by conservatives.

Like the best man at a wedding who insists on embarrassing the groom, Donald Trump took some time away from threatening additional air strikes in Syria to offer a few words on the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

In Gorsuch, Trump picked a respected federal appeals court judge who is seen as a fervent disciple of Scalia and a brand of conservative jurisprudence that calls for the strict interpretation of the US Constitution as its writers intended.

Judge Gorsuch echoes the qualities of Justice Scalia, making him the flawless replacement to restore conservatism and balance back to the Supreme Court.

"I won't ever forget that the seat I inherit today is that of a very, very great man", Gorsuch said. Gorsuch's judicial oath was administered by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Gorsuch worked as a clerk as a young lawyer.

He said making Supreme Court candidates get 60 votes "is essential to ensuring that our country has a confidence in those people who are nominated, rather than just someone who passes a litmus test".

Next week, the court begins its last round of oral arguments for the term.

John Malcolm, director of Heritage's Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, expressed a similar positive sentiment regarding Gorsuch's swearing-in. "And I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation".


First up for Gorsuch and the full-bench court will be a case out of Missouri involving a church's claim that its religious freedom is being violated by the state's ban on public money going to religious organizations.

Gorsuch could also be called on to decide six cases argued past year should the other eight justices not be able to come to a majority conclusion.

Three and a half years later, Democrats have threatened to filibuster the nomination of Gorsuch, President Trump's pick for the nation's highest court. Gorsuch is now the "junior justice", the freshman of the nine-member court.

McConnell's Senate confirmed Gorsuch last week after Republicans changed chamber rules to block the minority party from being able to filibuster.

In some ways, Gorsuch is the prototypical justice. Because White had retired by then, Gorsuch was loaned to Kennedy for the 1993-94 term. He had served since 2006 on the Colorado-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

He also provides the court with something it has lacked since 2010: a Protestant. He and his family attend an Episcopal church in Boulder, though he was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools as a child.

Kennedy, 80, often a swing vote on the court, presided, a reminder that Gorsuch's ascendance may not be this president's final chance to influence the direction of the high court.

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