Trump on Gorsuch: 'I Got It Done in the First 100 Days'

Apr 18, 2017, 01:53
Trump on Gorsuch: 'I Got It Done in the First 100 Days'

Donald Trump, in possibly his biggest win to date as president, celebrated Neil Gorsuch's ceremonial swearing-in to the Supreme Court at the White House on Monday, nodding to the fact that not everything has been easy in his first 100 days in the White House.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan took their oaths at the Supreme Court and did not go the White House for a public ceremony.

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.

Yet amid the bitter cross-aisle bickering, a lighthearted moment emerged: Justice Elena Kagan explained to Gorsuch what it's like to be the most junior member of the highest court, where seniority is prized above all.

And to the American people, Gorsuch said he was humbled by their trust.

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.

Trump noted that Gorsuch and Kennedy are the first former clerk and justice to serve together on the nation's highest court.

Senate Republicans invoked the "nuclear option" — allowing all future Supreme Court nominees to pass with a 51-vote simple majority instead of the previous 60-vote threshold.

And he can begin shaping the court's caseload, providing yet another vote for which cases the justices will hear. Gorsuch is widely considered similar to Scalia, both being what are termed "constitutional originalists".

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Scalia had anchored the court's conservative wing for almost three decades before he died unexpectedly in February 2016.

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".

Mr Gorsuch's appointment comes after a year-long political battle over filling the vacant seat.

Under McConnell's leadership, the Senate a year ago refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Scalia, an appointment that would have tilted the court to the left for the first time in decades.

"Only two male justices suffered interruption by another justice at the double-digit level, despite there being twice as many men as women on the court", Jacobi wrote for SCOTUS Blog.

Gorsuch's confirmation process, too, was marred by an extraordinary degree of partisanship. He is the 109th man to hold office among the 113 justices in the court's history. Because White had retired by then, Gorsuch was loaned to Kennedy for the 1993-94 term.

Gorsuch is different in other ways. His efforts to build a physical border wall with Mexico remain uncertain and his attempts to ban certain travelers from entering the US because they pose a security threat have been blocked by the courts.

He also provides the court with something it has lacked since 2010: a Protestant.

Associated Press writers Mark Sherman and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.