Neil Gorsuch sworn in as Supreme Court Judge

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Following a controversial process which culminated in the Senate voting 54-45 to confirm, Neil Gorsuch was officially sworn in Monday morning as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

First up was a private ceremony in the high court's Justices' Conference Room.

Gorsuch took the oath of office-taken by public servants in all US government branches-at the private ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m.at the Supreme Court. They also criticized the Republicans' refusal past year to consider President Obama's nominee to replace Scalia - Merrick Garland of the District of Columbia Circuit Court.

The confirmation came after Republicans changed Senate rules to water down the filibuster, allowing endless debate to be cut off with 51 votes instead of 60 on Supreme Court nominations.

The court had been operating with a 4-4 split of Democrat- and Republican-appointed justices since February 2016, following the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Since Scalia's death, the court had been ideologically deadlocked, with four liberal justices and four conservatives.

Gorsuch took his judicial oath in a White House Rose Garden ceremony with Trump watching on, filling a vacancy that lingered for almost 14 months after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Speaking ahead of Gorsuch at the ceremony, Trump said that "our country is counting on you to be wise, impartial and fair, to serve under our laws, not over them, and to safeguard the right of the people to govern their own affairs", hinting at his own friction with the judiciary. Louise Gorsuch held a family Bible as her husband took the oath, Arberg said.

Gorsuch promised to be a "faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation". In 2006, by a unanimous voice vote, the Senate confirmed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Congress handed Trump his biggest domestic setback so far when House Republicans failed to support a health care measure in sufficient numbers last month.

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In most ways, Gorsuch's résumé screams Supreme Court justice: Degrees from Columbia University, Harvard Law School and the University of Oxford.

Justice Anthony Kennedy swore in the 49-year-old Colorado native during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, making him the first justice to serve alongside one of his former law clerks.

In Justice Gorsuch, they see a man of great and unquestioned integrity.

But the Missouri Department of Natural Resources denied the request, arguing that the state constitution prohibited funding of religious organisations.

Gorsuch joins the court that is often the final arbiter for presidential policy.

Gorsuch is the youngest Supreme Court nominee in about 25 years.

"Today is a historic day, as a fine man and excellent judge has now become our nation's 113th Supreme Court justice", Malcolm said.

Gorsuch can be expected to have an immediate impact on the court.

In his most prominent case on a controversial issue, he ruled that the Affordable Care Act's so-called contraception mandate violated Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs, before it went up to the Supreme Court and a majority of justices agreed with Gorsuch's opinion.

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