Elena Kagan Warns Gorsuch: Supreme Court Newbie Has Chores To Do

Lauren Perry
April 16, 2017

Dan Goldberg, legal director at the progressive Alliance for Justice, said that given Judge Gorsuch's views on religion and his record while on the lower court, it's potentially "very troubling" the impact his vote could have in this case.

Gorsuch's previous opinions have shown skepticism over federal agencies' interpretations of their own rules, as well as the "frenetic lawmaking" employed by authorities like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Earlier Monday morning, Gorsuch took the constitutional oath in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court.

US President Donald Trump claps for Neil Gorsuch after he took the judicial oath during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House April 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. I was not an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump because of his obvious flaws, but there were three critical reasons I voted for him: to preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court, to protect the Constitution, and to protect our Bill of Rights.

Their opposition was also rooted in the Republican block of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, who was nominated previous year to replace Scalia.

Gorsuch is thanking his family for their "perseverance and patience" and his mentor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he served as a law clerk.

Trump - then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee - released a potential list of conservative jurists he would pick in May, should he be elected president.

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"I am humbled by the trust placed in me today".

"I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation", he said.

Trump, whose young White House has been roiled with turmoil and infighting, seemed eager to celebrate Gorsuch's appointment - one of his first clear victories, and one of particular importance to his base and the Republican establishment generally. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president", he said at the time.

The Rose Garden ceremony, on a sun-soaked spring day, recalled one just over a year ago in which President Barack Obama announced his selection of Judge Merrick B. Garland to succeed Scalia. Gorsuch is now the "junior justice", the freshman of the nine-member court. "I will never forget that to whom much is given, much will be expected", said Justice Gorsuch.

Scalia had anchored the court's conservative wing for almost three decades before he died in February 2016. However, the administration and Trump's supporters see Gorsuch's confirmation as a campaign promise kept and a notch in the win column as the White House eyes the end of the critical first 100 day period.

Gorsuch's confirmation process, too, was marred by an extraordinary degree of partisanship. Republicans got around the roadblock by changing the Senate's rules to eliminate the 60-vote threshold needed to bring high court nominations to the floor. Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for Garland, saying a high court replacement should be up to the next president.

For now, Gorsuch restores the court's conservative shift.

Other reports by VgToday

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