By Heather Bacon
President Donald Trump announced January 31 that he will be nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Gorsuch will replace the seat left vacant after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
Gorsuch is 49 years old. He attended Harvard Law and has a Ph.D. from Oxford. Gorsuch has been a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, when President George W. Bush nominated him. Like Justice Scalia, he is a conservative and a textualist meaning that he interprets the law based on its original meaning. He is a strong supporter of religious freedom rights,and is against legal euthanasia(assisted suicide). Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said, “Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing was a significant loss for the court and for our country. Gorsuch’s impressive background and long record of service, however, give me confidence he will carry forward Scalia’s legacy of faithfully applying the law and the Constitution.”
This election, many voters chose Trump over Clinton because they wanted another conservative justice, especially over the topic of abortion. When Trump nominated Gorsuch, he announced, “Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.”
However, it may be difficult to get Democratic senators to confirm Trump’s nomination after Republican senators ignored Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland last year. Democratic Senators have not been clear if they show support for Gorsuch, however they all seem to be in agreement that he should be allowed a full hearing and vote process. Democratic senator Chris Coons said “I will push for a hearing and I will push for a vote.”
Neil Gorsuch ideals are conservative, but they are not too extreme. This, along with the fact that he has no set view on abortion, will aid him in getting American support.
Currently, on the Supreme Court there are four liberals, three conservatives, and one swing justice (Kennedy). If Gorsuch were to be appointed, there would be a balance of ideologies on the Supreme Court which I think makes him a good choice.