Trump Picks Neil Gorsuch For Supreme Court

Trump Picks Neil Gorsuch For Supreme Court

Joe Burtzlaff

On the night of Tuesday, January 31, President Donald Trump announced his decision to nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States. Gorsuch’s nomination comes over 11 months after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump frequently said on the campaign trail that he would pick a justice for the Supreme Court “in the mold of Scalia,” and hopes that Gorsuch will deliver for him. Last February, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat but was not even given a hearing in the Senate as Republican leadership would not allow it, saying that the seat should be filled by the next President. Since Scalia’s death, the court only consisted of eight justices, one less than the standard of nine justices.

Neil Gorsuch is 49 years old and currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado. Gorsuch was nominated to the seat in 2006 by President Bush and was confirmed in the US Senate by a near unanimous vote. Gorsuch is a very educated nominee, having received his Bachelor degree from Columbia University, his Juris Doctor from Harvard University, and his Doctor of Philosophy from University College in Oxford, England, graduating from all three with high honors. From 1993-1994, Gorsuch clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, gaining valuable legal and judicial experience. The runner-up for the seat was Judge Thomas Hardiman, who sits on the United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit along with Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump’s sister.

Gorsuch’s nomination and likely confirmation, however, will come with a strong fight by Senate Democrats. First, Gorsuch will have to testify in hearings to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he will likely get a majority of yes votes and then move on to the full Senate for a vote. Before a floor vote, a nominee must receive 60 votes of approval before the final confirmation vote. In the full Senate vote, Gorsuch only needs a simple majority, which is very likely considering the Republicans have a majority of 52 seats in the Senate. Senate Democrats can and will put up resistance to the nomination, but in the end, there is very little they can do to stop the confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.