Trump announces Supreme Court nominee

Twelve days into his presidency, President Donald Trump announced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his choice for Supreme Court nominee. Other judges on the shortlist included Tulane Law School graduate Judge William Pryor, Jr. of Alabama and Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pittsburgh.

Gorsuch, if confirmed, will serve a lifetime appointment. At 49, he is the youngest nominee to the court in 25 years. Gorsuch, typical for conservatives, is an originalist, meaning he interprets the Constitution as its drafters originally intended.

Since 1970, the Supreme Court has had a consecutive Republican majority prior to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016. Gorsuch expressed admiration for Scalia, whom he will be replacing if confirmed.

Gorsuch earned degrees from Columbia University, Harvard University and the University of Oxford. He served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado since 2006. Notable past judicial decisions indicate that he values states’ rights and religious freedom.

Since Scalia’s death, groups from both sides of the aisle have been waiting for this seat on the Supreme Court bench to be filled. In 2016, Senate leadership refused to hold a confirmation hearing for former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland of Washington, D.C. Several Democratic senators announced on Tuesday that they plan to obstruct Trump’s nominee, which would make this the second time in history the Senate has filibustered a nominee.

While the average waiting time for a justice to be confirmed is 25 days, Garland waited nearly 10 months for his nomination to expire. No timeline has yet been set for Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings.

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