With President Donald Trump, who nominated Gorsuch, looking on, the 49-year-old justice took his judicial oath in the White House Rose Garden. It was the fulfillment of a vital campaign promise made by Trump to make the appointment of a strict conservative to the Supreme Court a top priority.
Gorsuch took the oath of office-taken by public servants in all USA government branches-at the private ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m.at the Supreme Court. "And although he could not be here today, I especially want to express our gratitude to Senator Mitch McConnell for all that he did to make this achievement possible", Trump said.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy administers the judicial oath to his former law clerk, Neil M. Gorsuch, whose left hand rests on a family Bible held by his wife, Louise. Oral arguments are set for April 19th.
Hannah Smith, an attorney with the Becket Fund, told The Washington Times that the Trinity Lutheran case is significant because the last time the court considered a similar kind of question dealing with the Free Exercise Clause was more than 10 years ago. Kennedy and Justice Stephen G. Breyer are native Californians, but as Scalia once wrote in an opinion listing the court's lack of geographic diversity, "California does not count".
President Donald Trump praised the new justice, saying he will rule "not on his personal preferences but based on a fair and objective reading of the law".
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.
Obama to attend German Protestant church gathering in May - paper
While aides to both men spoke in the aftermath of Trump's claims, the two presidents have not themselves discussed the matter. Obama will join Chancellor Angela Merkel and other dignitaries at the four-day festival.
Gorsuch's confirmation comes at the end of a long, unseemly, petulant, politically and civically corrosive sequence of events that has gone on now for more than a year, and from which nearly no one involved has emerged unsullied.
"It is patently unfair and deeply disappointing that those who abused Senate rules to block President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland and then changed Senate rules to approve Judge Gorsuch will be rewarded for their bad behavior", Henderson said.
The 66-day confirmation process divided Congress in a way that hadn't been done before.
"It's a privilege to have you here to join in this historic moment on this very handsome spring day", Trump said, introducing his pick to the high court. He is the 109th man to hold office among the 113 justices in the court's history. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were both sworn in publicly at the Supreme Court.
He's concerned about the possibility of President Trump getting the opportunity to replace a liberal member of the court. The prize from Allegheny College noted the enduring friendship between the justices despite their ideological differences.