Posted tagged ‘U.S. Supreme Court’

Supreme Court revives Trump travel ban

June 26, 2017

Supreme Court revives Trump travel ban, Washington Times

(Please compare and contrast this article with the previously posted WaPo article. — DM)

The Supreme Court said Monday that most of President Trump’s travel ban executive order can go into effect, delivering the first major victory to the new administration on perhaps his most controversial policy to date.

Justices said the lower court rulings that blocked Mr. Trump’s policy were far too broad, and said the president can begin to enforce his ban against foreigners who don’t already have some ties to the U.S.

That means the president can begin denying visas to visitors from six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — who don’t already have family in the U.S., or some other prior connection such as participation in an education program. Mr. Trump is also free to halt refugee admissions worldwide, with the same exception for people who already have a connection to the U.S.

The justices said Mr. Trump is at the peak of his powers when acting on national security concerns in immigration matters when dealing with people who don’t already have a tie to the U.S.

The court’s ruling was issued in an unsigned unanimous opinion, though Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch said they would have gone further and lifted the entire injunctions.

Justice Thomas said that the court’s ruling creates an impossible situation for the administration, which now must decide on who qualifies as already having ties to the U.S. and who doesn’t. He said to expect a rash of new lawsuits arguing over what level of connection is enough.

The court scheduled the broader case as part of its next session that begins in October — but pointedly suggested Mr. Trump may have concluded his broader review of U.S. visa policies by then, so there shouldn’t be a need to hear the case at all.

Two federal appeals courts had upheld injunctions of varying degrees of severity.

One court in Virginia ruled that Mr. Trump’s past words about Muslims showed an “animus” toward Muslims that invalidated the six-country travel ban, though they let the refugee restrictions remain in place. A court in California, though, struck down even the refugee restrictions, arguing the president broke the law because he never drew a specific connection between his actions and the national security concerns he said spurred him.

 

Supreme Court allows limited version of Trump’s travel ban to take effect, will consider case in fall

June 26, 2017

Supreme Court allows limited version of Trump’s travel ban to take effect, will consider case in fall, Washington PostRobert Barnes, June 26, 2017

(The Supreme Court, in granting certiorari and allowing major portions of President Trump’s executive order to take immediate effect, appears to have rejected the specious ‘Muslim ban” vs First Amendment rhetoric of the lower courts. The WaPo writer seems to favor the lower court decisions. — DM)

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to allow a limited version of President Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect, and will consider in the fall the president’s broad powers in immigration matters in a case that raised fundamental issues of national security and religious discrimination.

The court made an important exception: it said the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The court also said in the ruling that it would consider whether the case will be moot by the time it hears it; the ban is supposed to be a temporary one while the government reviews its vetting procedures.

The action means that the administration may impose a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the United States, with the exceptions noted by the court.

Trump said last week the ban would go into effect 72 hours after receiving an approval from the courts.

The proposed travel ban has been a major point of contention between Trump and civil rights groups, which say it was motivated by unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims.

Trump contends the ban is necessary to protect the nation while the administration decides whether tougher vetting procedures and other measures are needed. He has railed against federal judges who have blocked the move.

Because the executive order was stopped by lower courts, travelers from those countries have been entering the U.S. following normal visa procedures. Trump first moved to implement the restrictions in January in his first week in office.

His first executive order went into effect immediately, and resulted in chaos at airports in the U.S. and abroad, as travelers from the targeted countries were either stranded or sent back to their countries.

Lawyers for challengers to the order rushed to federal courts, and the order was stayed within days. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit eventually said the order could not be implemented, infuriating the president, who said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

But instead, his administration regrouped and issued a second order in March. It added a section detailing national security concerns, removed Iraq from the list of countries affected, deleted a section that had targeted Syrian refugees and removed a provision that favored Christian immigrants.

His lawyers told courts that the new order was written to respond to the 9th Circuit’s concerns. But a new round of lawsuits were immediately filed, and federal judges once again stopped the implementation.

A federal district judge in Maryland stopped the portion of the order affecting travelers from the six countries; a judge in Hawaii froze that portion and the part affecting the refu­gee programs.

Appeals courts on both coasts upheld those decisions.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond agreed with U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland, who sided with opponents in finding that the ban violates the Constitution by intentionally discriminating against Muslims.

In a 10-to-3 decision, the court noted Trump’s remarks before and after his election about implementing a ban on Muslims, and said the executive order “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

The president’s authority, the court said, “cannot go unchecked when, as here, the president wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote.

Meanwhile, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said Trump had not adhered to federal law in which Congress gives the president broad power in immigration matters.

The 9th Circuit opinion did not dwell on Trump’s public comments, nor did it declare that the president had run afoul of the Constitution because his intent was to discriminate. Instead, they ruled that the travel ban lacked a sufficient national security or other justification that would make it legal, and that violated immigration law.

“There is no finding that present vetting standards are inadequate, and no finding that absent the improved vetting procedures there likely will be harm to our national interests,” the judges wrote. “These identified reasons do not support the conclusion that the entry of nationals from the six designated countries would be harmful to our national interests.”

They added that national security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power.”

In both appeals courts, a minority of conservative judges had said their colleagues were making a mistake. Judges should look only to whether the executive orders were proper on their face, they said, without trying to decide if the president had ulterior motives, and defer to national security decisions made by the executive branch.

“The Supreme Court surely will shudder at the majority’s adoption of this new rule that has no limits or bounds,”wrote dissenting 4th Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer .

Trump thundered on Twitter after the judicial setbacks that the second executive order was a “watered down version” of the first. And while his lawyers in court described the action as a temporary pause in immigration and administration officials corrected reporters who called it a travel ban, Trump did not agree.

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” he wrote.

How can Ginsburg participate in Travel Order case after her *campaign* statements about Trump?

June 3, 2017

How can Ginsburg participate in Travel Order case after her *campaign* statements about Trump?, Legal Insurrection, , June 2, 2017

(To the extent that credibility is at issue, shouldn’t Candidate Trump’s campaign statements about a “Muslim ban” be examined rather than the “facially neutral” executive order? Please see also, Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Obamacare and Sally Yates. — DM)

This is not a situation where a Justice merely is presumed to have political leanings (don’t they all?), or is affiliated with one political party more than another. Justice Ginsburg has publicly questioned Trump’s credibility, and that credibility is an issue in the case as it presents itself in the 4th Circuit decision from which review is sought.

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Donald Trump’s second Executive Order on visa entry from six majority Muslim countries is now before the Supreme Court.

Trump is seeking review of the 4th Circuit’s decision upholding a Maryland District Court injunction halting the Executive Order. In addition to the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari asking SCOTUS to hear the case on the merits, Trump has a request for a stay of the lower court injunctions pending a decision on the merits. The application is on a fast track, with the Court setting June 12 as the deadline for opposition papers.

The 4th Circuit’s decision found that the Executive Order, though facially neutral, “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination” and that context was “a backdrop of public statements by the President and his advisors and representatives at different points in time, both before and after the election and President Trump’s assumption of office.”

Those statements, including by Trump himself, the 4th Circuit concluded:

… creates a compelling case that EO-2’s primary purpose is religious. Then-candidate Trump’s campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States….

As a candidate, Trump also suggested that he would attempt to circumvent scrutiny of the Muslim ban by formulating it in terms of nationality, rather than religion….

These statements, taken together, provide direct, specific evidence of what motivated both EO-1 and EO-2: President Trump’s desire to exclude Muslims from the United States. The statements also reveal President Trump’s intended means of effectuating the ban: by targeting majority-Muslim nations instead of Muslims explicitly….

EO-2 cannot be read in isolation from the statements of planning and purpose that accompanied it, particularly in light of the sheer number of statements, their nearly singular source, and the close connection they draw between the proposed Muslim ban and EO-2 itself.

The 4th Circuit decision has been widely criticized for its reliance on campaign statements, as well as for substituting judicial security evaluations for those of the executive branch.

This case, unlike other more mundane cases involving Trump policies that may come before the court, clearly places Donald Trump’s words, personality and credibility in issue.

One of the Justices already has expressed a view on Trump’s credibility. In July 2016, Justice Ruth Bader Ginbsburg was quoted in a CNN interview deriding Trump as “a faker”:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known candor was on display in her chambers late Monday, when she declined to retreat from her earlier criticism of Donald Trump and even elaborated on it.

“He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.” ….
“At first I thought it was funny,” she said of Trump’s early candidacy. “To think that there’s a possibility that he could be president … ” Her voice trailed off gloomily.
“I think he has gotten so much free publicity,” she added, drawing a contrast between what she believes is tougher media treatment of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and returning to an overriding complaint: “Every other presidential candidate has turned over tax returns.”
That July 2016 CNN lashing of Trump was not a one-off. Justice Ginsburg made two other negative public statements about Trump during the campaign (via Politifact):

Interview July 7, 2016 with Associated Press

Asked what if Trump won the presidency, Ginsburg said: “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”

Interview July 8, 2016 with New York Times

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.

Referring to something she thought her late husband, tax lawyer Martin Ginsburg, would have said, she said: “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

Justice Ginsburg came under heavy criticism from a wide spectrum of commentators, since it is unusual for a Supreme Court Justice to express views on a political candidate and campaign. Even the Editorial Board of the NY Times agreed that Justice Ginsburg’s comments were inappropriate, Donald Trump Is Right About Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling.

Three times in the past week, Justice Ginsburg has publicly discussed her view of the presidential race, in the sharpest terms….

There is no legal requirement that Supreme Court justices refrain from commenting on a presidential campaign. But Justice Ginsburg’s comments show why their tradition has been to keep silent.

In this election cycle in particular, the potential of a new president to affect the balance of the court has taken on great importance, with the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, other justices are nearing an age when retirement would not be surprising. That makes it vital that the court remain outside the presidential process. And just imagine if this were 2000 and the resolution of the election depended on a Supreme Court decision. Could anyone now argue with a straight face that Justice Ginsburg’s only guide would be the law?
The Washington Post editorial board also was critical of Justice Ginsburg’s comments, Justice Ginsburg’s inappropriate comments on Donald Trump:
However valid her comments may have been, though, and however in keeping with her known political bent, they were still much, much better left unsaid by a member of the Supreme Court. There’s a good reason the Code of Conduct for United States Judges flatly states that a “judge should not . . . publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.” Politicization, real or perceived, undermines public faith in the impartiality of the courts. No doubt this restriction requires judges, and justices, to muzzle themselves and, to a certain extent, to pretend they either do or do not think various things that they obviously do or do not believe. As the saying goes, however, “hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.”
As journalists, we generally favor more openness and disclosure from public figures rather than less. Yet Justice Ginsburg’s off-the-cuff remarks about the campaign fall into that limited category of candor that we can’t admire, because it’s inconsistent with her function in our democratic system….
Justice Ginsburg didn’t quite apologize, but did say she regretted the comments:

“On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” Ginsburg said in a statement. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

Later Thursday in an interview with NPR, Ginsburg described her remarks as “incautious.”

“I said something I should not have said,” she remarked. When NPR’s Nina Totenberg asked her “if she just goofed,” Ginsburg responded: “I would say yes to your question, and that’s why I gave the statement. I did something I should not have done. It’s over and done with and I don’t want to discuss it anymore.”

Justice Ginsburg’s negative comments about Trump, though less direct, continued after inauguration. On February 24, 2017, the Washington Post reported:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a noted critic of President Trump, suggested that she doesn’t believe the country is in good hands but said she is hopeful about the future.

“We’re not experiencing the best of times,” Ginsburg said Thursday on BBC’s “Newsnight,” though she did not comment directly about the president.

In a case in which Trump’s campaign comments are front and center, how can Ginsburg hear a case in which she has complained publicly about Trump and Trump’s campaign?

This is not a situation where a Justice merely is presumed to have political leanings (don’t they all?), or is affiliated with one political party more than another. Justice Ginsburg has publicly questioned Trump’s credibility, and that credibility is an issue in the case as it presents itself in the 4th Circuit decision from which review is sought.

Justice Ginsburg cannot be removed from the case. The judicial code cited by the Washington Post editorial doesn’t apply to Supreme Court Justices. She would have to recuse herself voluntarily.

I don’t expect Justice Ginsburg to recuse herself. But her *campaign* comments about Trump’s campaign look even worse in hindsight.

Tom Fitton discusses Shocking, New Clinton Emails, Soros Lawsuit, Clean Elections, & Immigration

June 2, 2017

Tom Fitton discusses Shocking, New Clinton Emails, Soros Lawsuit, Clean Elections, & Immigration, Judicial Watch via YouTube, June 2, 2017

 

Judicial Watch Statement Regarding Supreme Court Decision to Hear Ohio’s Clean Voter Rolls Case

May 30, 2017

Judicial Watch Statement Regarding Supreme Court Decision to Hear Ohio’s Clean Voter Rolls Case, Judicial Watch, May 30, 2017

(Please see also, Alien Invasion: Thousands of Foreigners Registered To Vote (and Voting) in Virginia. — DM)

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement from the Supreme Court of the United States that it granted certiorari and agreed to hear a case related to Ohio’s efforts to maintain accurate voting rolls:

“The citizens of Ohio may yet see their right to clean and fair elections upheld. Clearly, dirty election rolls can mean dirty elections.  We hope that the Supreme Court will reverse the Sixth Circuit decision and allow Ohio to more easily remove ineligible names from its voter registration lists.”

Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Ohio’s efforts to ensure that its voter rolls are up to date.  The case was on appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which held Ohio’s process is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) (Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State v. Philip Randolph Institute, et al. (No. 16-980)).

Judicial Watch’s amicus brief argued that the Sixth Circuit ruling would adversely affect its settlement agreement with Ohio were it allowed to stand:

In January of 2014 the parties settled the lawsuit, agreeing to terms for Ohio to perform certain NVRA Section 8 list maintenance practices through November 2018.  A key provision of this Settlement Agreement was Ohio’s agreement to perform an annual list maintenance “Supplemental Mailing” to voters who had no contact with Ohio’s election offices in two years.  The Settlement Agreement required Ohio to send the Supplemental Mailing every year, whereas Ohio had previously been sending the mailing every two years.  The Supplemental Mailing portion of the Settlement Agreement was so important to the parties that they subsequently negotiated an amendment solely to give Ohio greater flexibility over which month of the year to initiate the Supplemental Mailing.

Judicial Watch never would have agreed to the Settlement Agreement with Ohio and dismissed its lawsuit if it believed that the Supplemental Mailing was legally impermissible.  If the Sixth Circuit’s ruling in this case is allowed to stand, this key provision of Judicial Watch’s Settlement Agreement could be voided.

Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper, the director of the organization’s Election Integrity Project, joined with five other former attorneys of the Civil Rights Division Attorneys of the Justice Department to file an amici curiae brief in the Husted case.

Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Obamacare and Sally Yates

May 12, 2017

Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Obamacare and Sally Yates, Dan Miller’s Blog, Dan Miller, May 12, 2017

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

President Trump’s initial executive order imposed a temporary ban on refugees from seven countries where terrorism is endemic and information on potential refugees is scant, pending development of a workable vetting procedure. He later vacated the initial order and replaced it with one affecting only six countries and making other changes not relevant to the points addressed in this article. 

The initial executive order was rejected as unconstitutional, apparently because in violation of the First Amendment (freedom of religion), by several district court judges and the replacement order has had the same fate. The rulings were based, not on the text of the orders, but on Candidate Trump’s campaign references to a “Muslim ban.” Both orders applied equally to non-Muslims and Muslims from the subject countries. Neither mentioned, nor banned, nor applied to anyone from, any other Muslim majority country. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2010 there were “49 countries in which Muslims comprise more than 50% of the population.”

On May 11th, law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote an article titled Sally in Wonderland: The “Curiouser and Curiouser” Position of The Former Acting Attorney General. It deals with the testimony of now-former (fired) acting Attorney General Sally Yates concerning her refusal to allow the Department of Justice to support President Trump’s initial executive order. Ms. Yates was a hold-over from the Obama administration.

Professor Turley opined on Ms. Yates’ decision in the context of this graphic:

Sometimes congressional hearings bring clarity to controversies. Many times they do not. Controversies can become “curiouser and curiouser,” as they did for Alice in Wonderland. That was the case with the testimony of fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week discussing her unprecedented decision to order the entire Justice Department not to assist President Trump in defending the first immigration order. Yates was lionized by Democratic senators as a “hero” and has been celebrated in the media for her “courageous stand.” However, for those concerned about constitutional law and legal ethics, there is little to celebrate in Yates’ stand. Indeed, her explanation before the Senate only made things more confusing. It was a curious moment for the new Alice of the Beltway Wonderland: “Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).”

There has been considerable speculation on why Yates would engineer such a confrontation, but what is more important is her justification for ordering an entire federal department to stand down and not to assist a sitting president. Yates’ prior explanation fell considerably short of the expected basis for such a radical step. She dismissed the review of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) by insisting that those career lawyers only look at the face of the order and did not consider Trump’s campaign statements and his real motivations. Of course, many question the use of campaign rhetoric as a basis for reviewing an order written months later by an administration. Most notably, Yates did not conclude that the order was unconstitutional (in contradiction with her own OLC). Rather, she said that she was not convinced that the order was “wise or just” or was “lawful.” She does not explain the latter reference but then added that she was acting on her duty to “always seek justice and stand for what is right.” That is a rather ambiguous standard to support this type of obstruction of a sitting president. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked, “Did you believe, then, that there were reasonable arguments that could be made in its defense?” In an astonishing response, Yates said no because she decided on her view of Trump’s real intent and not the language of the order. However, many judges disagree with implied motive as the appropriate standard for review, as evidenced by the oral argument this week before the Fourth Circuit. More importantly, at the time of her decision, many experts (including some of us who opposed the order) were detailing how past cases and the statutory language favored the administration. It is ridiculous to suggest that there were no reasonable arguments supporting the order. [Emphasis added.]

I agree with Professor Turley’s analysis and posted the following comment arguing that there is Supreme Court precedent for ignoring politically oriented campaign rhetoric such as Candidate Trump’s reference to a “Muslim ban.”

Ms. Yates testified that substantially the same standards of review apply to executive orders as to acts of Congress.

When Obamacare was under discussion prior to enactment and when it was enacted, its basis was claimed to be the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Those who wrote Obamacare and those who voted for it rejected the notion that it was a tax because to accept that classification would have been political suicide. President Obama did not suggest to the public that Obamacare was a tax. He claimed that it was appropriate under the Commerce Clause. As I recall, counsel for the Government rejected classification as a tax during oral argument, relying instead on the commerce clause.

The majority opinion written by Chief justice Roberts held that although violative of the Commerce clause, Obamacare was permissible instead under the powers granted by the Constitution to impose taxes and was, therefore, compliant with the Constitution. Even after the decision was released, President Obama continued to claim that it was not a tax.

Chief Justice Roberts cited the Congressional power to tax the non-purchase of gasoline — something the Congress had never done as to gasoline or any other commodity or service. He did not suggest how it could be done: tax everybody who fails to purchase gasoline, only the owners of automobiles, only the owners of gasoline reliant automobiles, only those owning such automobiles but failing to purchase specified quantities, and so on. As I recall, Prof. Turley wrote an article questioning the majority opinion’s reliance on the taxing powers of Congress. [Professor Turley wrote about the decision in an article title Et tu, Roberts? Federalism Falls By The Hand Of A Friend.– DM]

The evident basis of the Obamacare decision was the notion that acts of Congress are to be upheld if there is any Constitutional basis for doing so — despite politically motivated statements by members of Congress who had voted for it and despite assertions by the President and others that it was not a tax. Under the standard applied by Ms. Yates to President Trump’s executive order, such statements would have rendered Obamacare unconstitutional and obligated her, as Acting Attorney General, to refuse to support it in court. [Emphasis added.]

Ms. Yates was asked neither about the standard applied by the Supreme Court in upholding Obamacare nor her application of an apparently different standard to President Trump’s executive order.

The judges who have thus far rejected President Trump’s initial and second executive order adopted the same rationale as Ms. Yates. The judges who upheld the orders obviously did not.

It is probable that the Supreme Court will eventually decide on the constitutionality of President Trump’s revised executive order, particularly if (as seems likely) there is a split in the circuits. Justice Gorsuch will likely be among the justices who decide the case and the executive order will very likely be held constitutional. There will probably be more than five votes for its affirmation.

In the meantime, America will continue to receive substantial numbers of unvetted and potentially dangerous refugees whose admission the executive orders were intended to prevent. Oh well. What’s a few more American deaths by jihadists? What difference at this point does it make?

Senate confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court

April 7, 2017

Senate confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court, Washington Examiner, Ruan Lovelace, April 7, 2017

His swearing-in ceremony is expected to be held Monday.

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The Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.

The Republican majority was joined in the 54-45 vote by a few Democrats in confirming the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judge to the high court. Gorsuch’s success comes after the Senate killed the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations on Thursday, effectively paving the way for Gorsuch to join the high court. After the Democratic minority mounted a successful partisan filibuster of Gorsuch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deployed the “nuclear option” to lower the vote threshold necessary to confirm Gorsuch from 60 to 51 votes. Gorsuch cleared that threshold Friday morning.

“The Supreme Court to me is a sacred institution,” Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who supported Gorsuch, said Friday. “We’ve had great Democratic justices. We’ve had great Republican justices. … Neil Gorsuch, I have every confidence, will be one of the all-time great justices for that court.”

Gorsuch, a Colorado native, is expected to be seated on the Supreme Court before oral arguments resume later this month. The newest justice is a self-identified originalist, a judicial philosophy popularized by the late Justice Antonin Scalia whose seat Gorsuch will fill. His addition to the high court is expected to restore the status quo that existed with Scalia on the bench in many cases with few anticipated deviations.

Conservative legal scholars cheering Gorsuch’s nomination have long cited his writing and record on the separation of powers and religious liberty issues as evidence that he may help move the court in their direction. As a former Supreme Court clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, conservatives also have expressed optimism that he can build new coalitions with Kennedy to push the high court’s frequent swing vote to the right.

Friday’s victory for Gorsuch gives a win to President Trump and the outside conservative groups who have worked for months to ensure Gorsuch’s confirmation. The judge’s confirmation team included the White House counsel’s office, McConnell’s office, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican National Committee and outside conservative groups such as the Judicial Crisis Network and America Rising. Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gorsuch’s former law clerks also assisted.

Democrats’ objection to Gorsuch largely focused on Republicans’ blockade of Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination by former President Barack Obama to fill the same seat. The Senate Democrats who took issue with Gorsuch himself focused on his performance during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, particularly his reluctance to answer questions involving cases and controversies that could come before him on the high court.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Whip Dick Durbin hammered Gorsuch repeatedly as a friend of the wealthy and foe of the “little guy,” and cited the “frozen trucker” case as an example where they believe harm came as a result of Gorsuch’s rulings. Durbin spoke ahead of Friday’s vote and criticized Gorsuch as a nominee handpicked by conservative activists.

“Where did the name Neil Gorsuch come from?” Durbin said. “He was the choice of the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation. If you know these two groups, you know they’re Republican advocacy groups.”

The Judicial Crisis Network launched a $10 million campaign for Gorsuch with partners such as America Rising and Tea Party Patriots to mobilize conservative grass-roots supporters and pressure Senate Democrats to confirm Gorsuch.

“Congratulations to Judge Gorsuch on his confirmation, and to President Trump and [Senate Majority] Leader McConnell on this extraordinary achievement,” said Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel and policy director “Because of their leadership, and because of Judge Gorsuch’s commitment to judicial independence and the rule of law, Justice Scalia’s legacy will continue on the Supreme Court.”

Leonard Leo, an adviser to Trump for the Supreme Court nominaton, said that Gorsuch brings the nation “one step closer to seeing the preservation of [Scalia’s] legacy on the court.”

“Throughout his career, Judge Gorsuch has demonstrated his commitment to judicial independence and to deciding cases according to the law instead of political preferences. I applaud President Trump for choosing such an outstanding nominee, and Leader McConnell and his colleagues for defeating an unprecedented partisan filibuster.”

Gorsuch, whose Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearings lasted more than 20 hours, has been largely mum on the political process leading to his confirmation. Gorsuch said during the hearings there was “a great deal about the process I regret,” including putting his family through it. During his remarks on the night of his nomination Gorsuch, pledged to “do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great country.”

His swearing-in ceremony is expected to be held Monday.