Dem senator says his party will restore 60-vote Supreme Court filibuster

The Washington Post also reported that Gorsuch will start work immediately, starting with the full court meeting privately Thursday to consider cases for the next term.

As a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Gorsuch supported a private company and an order of Catholic nuns who argued in two separate cases they should not have to provide contraceptive insurance coverage for their employees-despite Obamacare's requirements-because doing so would violate their religious beliefs.

Kennedy, 80, often a swing vote who holds the balance of power on the court, presided, a reminder that Justice Gorsuch's ascendance may not be this President's final chance to influence the direction of the high court.

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 numerous most contentious issues in American life.

Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, and took up the seat vacated by last year's death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

As for Gorsuch, 49, he was sworn in Monday and will jump into cases of outcome, including one involving separation of church and state that the justices will take up in less than two weeks.

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

"He will decide cases not based on his personal preferences but based on a fair and objective reading of the law", Trump said of Gorsuch.

"Spring is really the flawless backdrop for this joyful gathering of friends, because together we are in the process of reviewing and renewing, and also rebuilding our country", Trump said.

McConnell and other senators also expressed the hope that after the bitter fight over Gorsuch, the Senate can get back on a more bipartisan course.

As I watched the incredible dignity of President Trump, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and now-Justice Gorsuch, I realized how 'President Trump has exceeded my expectations.

And in a matter of weeks, the court might be called upon to get involved in Trump's second travel ban targeting refugees and those entering the US from certain countries.

Trump boasted that he was able to get Gorsuch confirmed in his first 100 days in office.

"I've always heard", Trump said, "that the most important thing that a President of the United States does is appoint people, hopefully great people like this appointment, to the United States Supreme Court". And I must thank my former law clerks and my dear friends who gave so much of themselves so selflessly through these last three months.

However, she continued, "some court watchers say Gorsuch may be even more conservative than Scalia, his mentor and a fellow adherent to the originalist view of the Constitution". That's because the change will apply to all future Supreme Court nominees, too, eliminating any need for input from the minority party in making confirmations to the high court. Gorsuch was confirmed the next day by a 54-45 vote.

The one silver lining in the whole debacle for those on the left was the knowledge that, now that that seal's been broken (and should Democrats ever achieve the Senate majority again) they could do the same: End a filibuster on a liberal counterpart to Gorsuch and confirm them with a simple 51-vote majority.

  • Larry Hoffman