Neil Gorsuch takes oath to join Supreme Court

By Caitlyn Jones, Web Anchor
Last Updated: Monday, April 10, 2017, 12:23 PM EDT
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A historical moment at the White House on Monday, as the 113th Supreme Court justice was sworn in.

  • Neil Gorsuch has taken the second of two oaths
  • Gorsuch sworn in Monday as 113th justice of the Supreme Court
  • Gorsuch replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Neil Gorsuch was sworn in at a public ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday, with President Donald Trump introducing the man he picked for the job.

The 49-year-old appeals court judge from Colorado was sworn in during the ceremony by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he once served as a law clerk.

"I am humbled by the trust place in me today. I will never forget that to whom much is given much is expected. And I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation. Thank you," Gorsuch said.

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

In the Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said of Gorsuch, Americans see "a man who is deeply faithful to the Constitution of the United States." The president is predicting Gorsuch will go down as "one of the truly great justices" in the court's history.

The president noted that the successful nomination came during his first 100 days in office.

It has been a long fought battle getting Gorsuch to this point. There was a 14-month showdown between Republicans and Democrats after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.

First Democrats were trying to get former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland to fill the seat. However, Republicans would not even hold a hearing because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time that the new president should be the one to choose the nominee.

Republicans had their victory on Friday by getting Gorsuch confirmed by using the so-called "nuclear option" meaning they only needed 51 votes in Gorsuch's favor instead of 60.

Gorsuch's work begins immediately, though his first day on the bench will by April 17.

The White House swearing-in ceremony is a departure from recent history. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were both sworn in publicly at the Supreme Court. Former Justice John Paul Stevens has argued that holding the public ceremony at the court helps drive home the justice's independence from the White House.

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 - more than 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.