Neil Gorsuch, picked by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice at the White House on Monday and was poised to have an instant impact on a court once again dominated by conservatives.
Trump earned the biggest political victory of his presidency and fulfilled a major campaign promise when the Senate voted on Friday to confirm the conservative federal appeals court judge from Colorado to the lifetime job despite vehement Democratic opposition. With Gorsuch aboard, the court once again has five conservative justices and four liberals.
Gorsuch took his judicial oath in a White House Rose Garden ceremony, filling a vacancy that lingered for nearly 14 months after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
Trump hailed Gorsuch as a man of great integrity and unmatched qualifications who was deeply faithful to the U.S. Constitution.
Trump made a point of thanking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his role in winning confirmation. McConnell last week led the effort to change long-standing Senate rules in order to end a Democratic blockade of Gorsuch's nomination.
Under McConnell's leadership, the Senate last year refused to consider former President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Scalia.