The Supreme Court is comprised of a group of nine judges who have had the final say in some of the most controversial cases in our nation’s history. On Jan. 31, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to become the next judge who fills a seat on the sacred bench. Get all the details on Neil here!
1. Judge Neil Gorsuch prevailed over President Donald Trump’s rumored second choice, Judge Thomas Hardiman.
President Donald Trump, 70, brought both Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, and Judge Thomas Hardiman, 51, to Washington, D.C. ahead of the Jan. 31 announcement of his Supreme Court nominee. This decision only added more drama to the announcement, which the Trump administration seriously hyped online and even streamed on Facebook. But when all was said and done, Neil, the United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, came out victorious.
2. Neil is EXTREMELY conservative and likely to be anti-abortion.
Neil, based out of Denver, Colorado, has proven to be ridiculously conservative throughout his career. He authored a book opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia, and, in the now infamous Hobby Lobby case, held that employers shouldn’t be required to provide insurance coverage for their employee’s birth control without a co-pay if they personally object to it on religious grounds. This could set him up to be very popular with the pro-life crowd.
3. Neil is very well educated.
Neil received a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and received a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from University College at Oxford University. Whether or not you are a fan of Neil’s, you have to admit that he has an impressive education that will no doubt serve him well if he is confirmed as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
4. Neil is replacing Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.
Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served on the bench from 1986 to 2016. Neil will have some pretty big shoes to fill, as Justice Scalia was well respected on both sides of the aisle and actually unanimously confirmed by the Senate. That’s really impressive, considering that many disagreed with a lot of his very conservative opinions. Like Justice Scalia, Neil believes in originalism and textualism while interpreting the constitution, and, if confirmed, his conservative views will no doubt have an effect on court decisions regarding abortion, and gun and religious rights for years to come.
5. Neil could have a hard time getting confirmed, seeing as many Democrats are still angry that President Barack Obama’s last appointment did not get through the Senate.
The bench has been down a justice since Scalia’s death because the Republican-led Senate refused to confirm President Barack Obama‘s pick, Merrick Garland. Many Democrats believe that the Republicans essentially robbed Obama of his pick just because they wanted to wait and see if a Republican president would take office and give them another conservative judge. Before Neil was even announced as Trump’s pick, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley said he would filibuster the nominee’s confirmation, meaning that 60 votes out of 100 would need to go to Neil. That would make things difficult for the Republicans who have a 52-48 majority, because they’d need to win over some Democrats to get Neil through.
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