Gorsuch takes Supreme Court seat after divisive confirmation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Judge Neil Gorsuch is about to take his place as the newest Supreme Court justice.

The 49-year-old appeals court judge from Colorado is to be sworn in after a bruising fight that saw Republicans change rules for approving Supreme Court picks over the fierce objection of Democrats.

First up is a private ceremony at the court, with Chief Justice John Roberts administering the constitutional oath. That’s followed by a public ceremony at the White House, where Justice Anthony Kennedy will swear him in.

Gorsuch will be seated just in time to hear one of the biggest cases of the term — a religious rights dispute over a Missouri law that bars churches from receiving public funds for general aid programs.