WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) — Neil Gorsuch on Monday was sworn in as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, adding a conservative shade to the judicial body that will soon rule on a number of divisive issues including voting and gun rights.
The sworn in ceremony of the 49-year-old justice was held in the Rose Garden of the White House, during which U.S. President Donald Trump lauded the accomplishment of his hand picked candidate.
"Americans aare blessed to have in Neil Gorsuch a man who will, likewise, be a devoted servant of the law," Trump said, after expressing his gratitude to Senators who pushed for Gorsuch’s confirmation on Friday.
"I have no doubt you will rise to the occasion and that the decisions you will make will not only protect our Constitution today, but for many generations of Americans to come," Trump said.
For his part, Gorsuch said: " I am humbled by the trust placed in me today. I will never forget that to whom much is given, much will be expected."
"I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation," he said.
Gorsuch will be filling in a year-long vacancy left by late Supreme Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.
Former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to succeed Scalia before his tenure ended, but the Republican-controlled Congress refused to consider the proposal, drawing anger from Democrats.
In retaliation, the Democrats filibustered Gorsuch’s confirmation vote, an effort that was broken by the GOP which subsequently voted to change filibuster rules.
Gorsuch’s confirmation was passed 54-45 on Friday.
Several contentious cases waiting final ruling from the Supreme Court is in the offing for the now complete bench and analysts believe Gorsuch, a conservative in his past rulings, will soon make his presence felt in the Court.
The cases regard issues such as gun rights, voting rights, gay rights, as well as the travel ban Trump sought to place on a number of Muslim majority countries.