Trump has selected federal appeals courts judge Neil Gorsuch for his SCOTUS nomination.
He made the announcement from the East Wing of the White House Earlier, citing his campaign promise to honor the Late Justice Scalia.
“When Justice [Antonin] Scalia passed away suddenly last February, I made a promise to the American people if I were elected President, I would find the very best judge in the country for the Supreme Court. I promised to select someone who respects our laws and is representative of our Constitution and who loves our Constitution. And someone who will interpret it as written,” Trump announced with Scalia’s widow, Maureen, sitting in the audience. “I am a man of my word, I will do as I say. Something that the American people have been asking of Washington for a very very long time.”
“Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court,” Trump said, revealing that Scalia’s image was in his mind during the decision-making process. “I took the task of this nomination very seriously. I selected an individual whose qualities define really, and I mean closely define, what we are looking for.”
He doesn’t seem to have much history with abortion cases but seems to be pro-life. In his 2009 book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, Gorsuch wrote that he opposed euthanasia and assisted suicide and that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
Only weeks after his nomination in 2006, the Senate confirmed him by voice vote. The American Bar Association rated him as “unanimously well qualified” at the time.
Gorsuch has a sterling legal pedigree. He clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a clerk on the second most important appeals court in the country, in Washington D.C., for conservative Judge David Sentelle.
Like Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he is in line to replace, Gorsuch has cultivated a reputation as a memorable and clear author of legal opinions. He also considers himself to be an originalist. Lawyers who practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, where Gorsuch currently works, said he is a popular and approachable judge.
SCOTUSblog, the leading Supreme Court blog, described some of Gorsuch’s parallels to Scalia as “eerie.”
“He is an ardent textualist (like Scalia); he believes criminal laws should be clear and interpreted in favor of defendants even if that hurts government prosecutions (like Scalia); he is skeptical of efforts to purge religious expression from public spaces (like Scalia); he is highly dubious of legislative history (like Scalia); and he is less than enamored of the dormant commerce clause (like Scalia),” the blog wrote.
Among other rulings that came to national attention, Gorsuch sided in favor of “religious freedom” claims made by the Little Sisters of the Poor and the owners of the craft company Hobby Lobby, who challenged language in the Affordable Care Act that required them to pay for contraceptive coverage for employees. The Supreme Court backed those Hobby Lobby challengers, in a divided vote, in 2014.
Liberals are not happy: