Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch as 9th Supreme Court justice


President Donald Trump has chosen Neil Gorsuch, a conservative judge who presides over Denver’s 10th Circuit as his nominee for U.S. Supreme Court justice. A federal judge for 10 years, Judge Gorsuch is a long-time comrade of deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a strong record of supporting religious freedom and less government control.

At a White House East Room ceremony on Jan. 31, Judge Gorsuch said he was honored and humbled by President’s Trump’s nomination and that he looked forward to answering questions during his Senate nomination hearing.

Neil Gorsuch

“The Supreme Court’s work is vital not just to a region of the country but to the whole, vital to the protection of the people’s liberties under law and to the continuity of our Constitution, the greatest charter of human liberty the world has ever known,” Judge Gorsuch said. “The towering judges that have served in this particular seat, at the Supreme Court, including Antonin Scalia and Robert Jackson are very much in my mind in this moment.”

President Trump hailed Judge Gorsuch’s credentials as the “best he has ever seen,” and called him more than qualified to take the reins as the next Supreme Court justice.

“He has an extraordinary resume, as good as it gets,” President Trump said. “The qualifications of Judge Gorsuch are beyond dispute. He is a man of our country and a man who our country needs – and needs badly – to uphold the rule of law and the rule of justice.”

Judge Gorsuch, 49,was appointed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, by President George W. Bush. His nomination was confirmed unanimously in the Senate. He holds a doctoral degree from Oxford University, (England), a law degree from Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., and an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, New York. Judge Gorsuch began his legal career as a law clerk to Supreme Court justices Byron R. White and Anthony M. Kennedy, as well as to Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Gorsuch served as principal deputy associate attorney general at the Justice Department under George W. Bush.

Courtesy whitehouse.gov

Judge Neil Gorsuch was introduced in an East Room event at the White House.

His record does not clearly demonstrate whether he strongly favors or opposes same-sex marriage or Second Amendment rights, but past rulings do show a leaning toward religious rights. He ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby Stores after the company objected to contraceptive coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act. He also dissented from a ruling not to rehear a challenge by the Little Sisters of the Poor against certain contraceptive coverage provisions.

A Senate confirmation hearing had not been announced at press time. Judge Gorsuch has pledged to work with both parties during the hearing to answer questions and alleviate any concerns.

“I look forward to speaking with members from both sides of the aisle,” he said. “I consider the United States Senate the greatest deliberative body in the world, and I respect the important role the Constitution affords it in the confirmation of our judges.”

Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly on Feb. 13, 2016, leaving the high court with only eight members. Then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill Scalia’s seat. However, the Republican-controlled Senate blocked Judge Garland from ever having a hearing and his nomination was never fully considered.

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