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Donald Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to fill supreme court vacancy

Posted: 02 February, 2017 at 06:00 am
Donald Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to fill supreme court vacancy
Donald Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch To Fill Supreme Court Vacancy Photo 1

According to some reported news, US President Donald Trump has nominated circuit court judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the US supreme court, setting up a showdown with congressional Democrats and activists over a pick that could shape the ideological bent of the court for a generation.

Gorsuch, 49, the youngest supreme court nominee in 25 years, was among a group of federal judges reported in recent weeks to be on Trump's shortlist. A strict adherent of judicial restraint known for sharply-written opinions and bedrock conservative views, Gorsuch, a Colorado native, is popular among his peers and is seen as having strong backing among Republicans generally.

The nomination landed at a moment of sharply-increasing alarm amongst progressives that the Trump administrationplans to pursue extremist policies on core questions likely to come before the court, from religious equality to abortion rights, voting rights, access to healthcare, LGBT rights, anti-discrimination protections and more.

Announcing his pick in the White House's East Room, Trump described reading Gorsuch's writings “closely”, as Gorsuch stood next to Trump listening with a fixed expression of earnest concern, holding his wife, Louise, in one arm.

“I can only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once for the good of the country,” Trump said.

Some prominent Senate Democrats immediately denounced Gorsuch as “unacceptable” and “extreme”. But it was unclear if there would be sufficient support to mount a filibuster and force an historic showdown over the nomination and Senate procedure.

“Make no mistake, Senate Democrats will not simply allow but require an exhaustive, robust, and comprehensive debate on Judge Gorsuch's fitness to be a supreme court justice,” said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

If Democrats refuse to support Gorsuch, Republicans could decide to change the Senate rules to confirm him. But many Republicans are wary of this move, and are hopeful vulnerable Democrats will come around.

Republicans were effusive in their praise of Gorsuch, calling him “highly qualified”, “universally respected” and, above all, “mainstream”. “There's nothing not to like about Neil Gorsuch,” said Jeff Flake of Arizona. Even more enthusiastic praise came from Ben Sasse of Nebraska who told the Guardian that Gorsuch “is the kind of person that the founders envisioned sitting on the supreme court”.

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