President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court Tuesday, elevating an eloquent and staunchly conservative appellate judge to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.
Gorsuch, 49, currently sits on a federal court of appeals that spans Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and parts of Oklahoma. He has a reputation for gifted, incisive writing paired with a strictly originalist interpretation of the Constitution, like his predecessor. If confirmed, the Columbia- and Harvard Law-educated jurist would become the youngest justice on the bench.
Trump’s selection of Gorsuch — a deeply conservative but conventional choice — suggests the president has less appetite for the combative confirmation proceedings that a more radical pick would have sparked in Congress’ upper chamber, and that have already attended many of his Cabinet selections. Senate Democrats still vowed Monday to filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, requiring the Senate to secure 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, has said Democrats — who currently hold 46 seats in the Senate — are willing to keep Scalia’s seat open indefinitely if Trump doesn’t appoint someone who’s “bipartisan and mainstream.”
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“I’m hopeful that maybe President Trump would nominate someone who is mainstream and could get bipartisan support. We shall see,” Schumer told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Jan. 22. “But if they don’t, yes, we’ll fight it tooth and nail. As long as we have to.”