Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Gorsuch sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Warren Dawson | 18 April, 2017, 03:24

Gorsuch, who once clerked for Kennedy, will be the first member of the court to serve alongside his former boss. Justice Scalia's seat on the court does not belong to any president or any political party, but to the American people. As it turns out, he'll get to work with the rest of the justices very soon.

In the April 19 oral argument, the justices will consider whether the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' rejection of a grant application by Trinity Lutheran Church violated the U.S. Constitution. There are petitions to consider, which could lead to new cases next term on guns, voting rights and same-sex marriage.

Gorsuch will also be casting a vote in another significant case which pits religious liberty against LGBT rights.

Gorsuch's 66-day confirmation process was swift but bitterly divisive.

So despite a filibuster by Democrats to stop the nomination of Gorsuch to the Court (with Republicans agreeing Thursday to end the 60-vote threshold necessity for Supreme Court nominees using the long-debated "nuclear option"), things for Gorsuch and his Republican and Democratic backers are ready to roll forward. The change allowed the Senate to hold a final vote to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

He replaces the late justice Antonin Scalia, part of the court's conservative wing for almost three decades before he died unexpectedly in February 2016. Republicans refused even to give Garland a hearing, taking their chances on the November election, and Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton kept the seat in conservatives' hands.

Syrian TV says dozens killed in blast near evacuation buses
The buses were carrying almost 5,000 people from Foua and Kfraya, villages in northern Syria that have been besieged by rebels. The deal to evacuate the towns is the latest in a string of such agreements through Syria's six-year civil war.

If/when the Democrats regain control of the Senate, will they bring back the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees? Hailing from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, he is the court's only Westerner. Right now, President Trump only has 22 of his nominees confirmed.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Gorsuch once clerked, administered the judicial oath.

-Gorsuch joins the ranks of justices who are millionaires. Those could include cases ranging from a fair housing dispute in Miami to a cross-border shooting on the Mexican border in Arizona.

And he can begin shaping the court's caseload, providing yet another vote for which cases the justices will hear.

The state's Constitution says that "no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion".

The latter case has been on the court's petition calendar for months without an order being issued. His efforts to build a border wall with Mexico remain uncertain and his attempts to ban certain travelers from entering the United States because they pose a security threat have been blocked by the courts.

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