US President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as 113th justice of the Supreme Court on Monday.
Earlier Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the first of two required oaths in a private ceremony in the Supreme Court conference room the justices use for their closed-door meetings.
He will take a second oath later in the day at a public White House ceremony officiated by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
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. Under McConnell's leadership, the Senate past year refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Scalia.
The odds are pretty good that whoever wins four years after that - meaning, in the election of 2024 - could become the first president since Jimmy Carter to come and go without a single Supreme Court nomination.
The Senate confirmed Gorsuch by a 54-45 vote Friday, after Republicans triggered the so-called nuclear option Thursday to end Democrats' filibuster and require only 51 votes rather than 60 to end debate and proceed to a vote.
During the confirmation process, Gorsuch said he was first contacted about his candidacy not by the White House but by Leonard Leo, a high-ranking Federalist Society official. He is well aware that if he can coax Kennedy off the bench, he can grant conservatives control over the court indefinitely.
Neil Gorsuch gained confirmation to the U.S.
During his time on the 10th Circuit, Gorsuch agreed with others on the court the Obama administration's abortion/contraception mandate violated the free exercise of religion rights of Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor among other religious groups.
Gorsuch was sworn in during the ceremony by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he once served as a law clerk.
Also, Gorsuch wrote a 2000 law journal article and a 2006 book arguing strongly against assisted-suicide laws.
Also present were Gorsuch's two daughters, Justice Scalia's widow, all of the justices and their spouses, with the exception of Justice Stephen Breyer, said the report.
"This means Garland would have been more likely to be a key vote on more issues than Gorsuch is likely to be, because Kennedy remains the critical vote for a five-justice conservative bloc, while Kennedy or Garland could have been the fifth vote for a liberal result". There are appeals pending on expanding gun rights to include carrying concealed firearms in public, state voting restrictions that critics say are aimed at reducing minority turnout, and allowing business owners to object on religious grounds to provide certain services to gay couples. And the rest of us will spend the next 30 years marveling that the GOP managed to steal a Supreme Court seat under the pretext of politics as usual.
The partisan duel over Gorsuch was the latest in a contentious, three-decades-long battle over Supreme Court nominees. Democrats criticized Gorsuch for refusing to answer their questions about past Supreme Court opinions during his Judiciary Committee hearings and charged him with favoring the powerful in his rulings.
Gorsuch can be expected to have an immediate impact on the court.