U.S. Supreme Court

Gorsuch takes two oaths of office to become a Supreme Court justice

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Gorsuch oath

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the constitutional oath to Judge Neil Gorsuch in the justices’ conference room at the Supreme Court Building. Louise Gorsuch holds the Bible. Photo by Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Neil Gorsuch took the judicial oath of office on Monday in a public ceremony at the White House. The oath, administered by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, was the second of the day for the new Supreme Court justice.

Earlier on Monday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered the constitutional oath of office to Gorsuch in a private ceremony. Gorsuch was confirmed Friday to take place of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The judicial oath is required by the Judiciary Act of 1789, while the constitutional oath is given to all federal employees, SCOTUSblog reports. Gorsuch’s wife, Louise, held the Bible for both oaths. The widow of Scalia was also present for both ceremonies. The Washington Post has a story.

At the White House ceremony, President Donald Trump said Gorsuch is a “devoted servant of the law” whose decisions will protect the Constitution today and for generations of Americans to come. Gorsuch will decide cases on a fair and objective reading of the law, rather than his personal preferences, Trump said.

Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, had been a law clerk to Kennedy. It will be the first time a justice serves with a former clerk, Trump said.

Gorsuch called Kennedy a mentor and said the confirmation process reminded him how “outrageously blessed” he was to be surrounded by family, law clerks and friends.

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