Gorsuch sworn in as US Supreme Court justice
Neil Gorsuch was sworn in Monday as the US Supreme Court's ninth justice, retilting the bench to the right as he filled the seat left vacant by last year's death of conservative icon Antonin Scalia.
Confirmed by the Senate on Friday after a bitter months-long fight, Gorsuch was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court attended by the other justices and Gorsuch's family.
He will take a second oath later in the day at a public White House ceremony officiated by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
His nomination to a life term marked President Donald Trump's first opportunity to shape for a generation a court that is the ultimate arbiter of many of the most contentious issues in American life.
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.
The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm him, but only after Republican leader Mitch McConnell swept aside longstanding rules to overcome a Democratic filibuster.
Democrats angrily fought the nomination to the end because McConnell had blocked former president Barack Obama's nominee for the seat, Merrick Garland, after Scalia's sudden death in February 2016.
Since Scalia's death, the court has been evenly divided between the liberal and conservative wings, though Kennedy, a conservative, is looked to as a sometime swing voter.
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