WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump praised new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch during a public White House ceremony on Monday as a jurist who will rule “not on his personal preferences but based on a fair and objective reading of the law.”
In a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said Americans would see in Gorsuch “a man who is deeply faithful to the Constitution of the United States” and predicted greatness for the 49-year-old former appeals court judge from Colorado.
“I have no doubt you will go down as one of the truly great justices in the history of the U.S.,” Trump said. The president noted that the successful nomination came during his first 100 days in office and added: “You think that’s easy?”
Gorsuch was sworn in during the ceremony by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he once served as a law clerk. It was the second of two oaths – the first was conducted privately in the Justices’ Conference Room by Chief Justice John Roberts.
In remarks in the Rose Garden, Gorsuch said he was humbled by his ascendance to the nation’s high court and thanked his former law clerks, saying of his former law clerks, “your names are etched in my heart forever.”
Gorsuch promised to be a “faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.”
Gorsuch will fill the nearly 14-month-old vacancy created after the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who anchored the court’s conservative wing for nearly three decades before he died unexpectedly in February 2016. In nominating Gorsuch, Trump said he fulfilled a campaign pledge to pick someone in the mold of Scalia.
During 11 years on the federal appeals court in Denver, Gorsuch mirrored Scalia’s originalist approach to the law, interpreting the Constitution according to the meaning understood by those who drafted it. Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a gifted writer with a flair for turning legal jargon into plain language people can understand.
Some interesting facts about Gorsuch and the court:
-He is the youngest nominee since Clarence Thomas, who was 43 when confirmed in 1991.
-The Colorado native went to high school in Washington while his mother served as EPA administrator in the Reagan administration.
-He’s the sixth member of the court who attended Harvard Law School; the other three got their law degrees from Yale.
-Gorsuch credits a nun with teaching him how to write. He and his family attend an Episcopal church in Boulder, though he was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools as a child. He joins a court that has five Catholics and three Jews.
-As an associate justice, Gorsuch will earn $251,800 a year – over 15 percent higher than his $217,600 salary as an appellate judge.
-Gorsuch joins the ranks of justices who are millionaires. He reported financial assets in 2015 worth at least $3.2 million, according to his latest financial disclosure report.
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