On April 10, after Senate lawmakers pushed the button on the nuclear option, Neil Gorsuch became the 113th person to ascend to the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the Washington Post reports, the process involved two oaths, the second of which is called the Judicial Oath. In this oath, Justice Gorsuch swore to "do equal right to the poor and to the rich."
President Trump said, "It's a privilege to have you here to join in this historic moment on this very beautiful spring day." Various news outlets have described this as a clear win for Trump and for the GOP, who wanted a conservative jurist to fill the void left by Justice Scalia. Justices enjoy lifetime appointments, and at a mere 49 years of age, it's foreseeable that Gorsuch has decades on the Court ahead of him.
The Judicial Oath
In the Rose Garden with Trump and White House staff members looking on, Justice Kennedy administered the second oath, which reads as follows:
- "I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."
As for Gorsuch, he said, "I cannot tell you how honored I am to be here today with my mentor, Justice Kennedy, to administer the judicial oath, a beautiful oath, as he did for me 11 years ago when I became a circuit judge."
Arguably, much of what makes this oath beautiful is that a justice swears to rule impartially and fairly, to poor and rich alike. Let's hope that Justice Gorsuch continues to keep this oath close to heart.