GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. --Judge Neil Gorsuch will be sworn in Monday as the 113th justice of the Supreme Court.
On Friday, senators voted 54-45 to confirm Gorsuch. The 49-year-old Denver-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit replaces the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch will be sworn in during a private ceremony at the court on Monday, followed by a public ceremony at the White House. His confirmation restores a 5-4, conservative-leaning court after Scalia's death.
"So I see his impact in four different areas," said Leila Brammer, professor and chair of communication studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. "His most immediate will be on the cases that are already up and in front of the Supreme Court for the remaining parts of the session. Probably the most important one is the Missouri case."
The Missouri case involves the separation of church and state. A Lutheran church in Missouri was denied state funds to resurface its preschool playground. The state program reimburses groups for installing rubberized surfaces on playgrounds but state officials said a provision of the Missouri Constitution restricts giving public money to a church. The church says that's religious discrimination.
Other cases the court could soon decide to hear include gun rights, voting rights and a Colorado baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple.
Brammer said Gorsuch could also be the deciding vote on previous cases heard earlier in the session.
"Justice Roberts could bring them back to the full court and so he would be able to weigh in on some cases that have preceded him," Brammer said.
Brammer went on to say, "The third piece is probably the travel ban. There's a great possibility that the travel ban could end up at the Supreme Court. And now that we have nine justices and five of them are conservative, that might change the way that that's seen as law."
Gorsuch will also soon weigh in on which new cases to hear in the new term.