The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
President Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, the first step toward filling the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch, 49, currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The nomination is expected to be heavily contested, as Democrats have made clear their intention to wage battle over the future of the nation’s highest court.
Chuck Shumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, has expressed “serious doubts” concerning Gorsuch and has indicated his party will move to implement a procedural impediment whereby the nominee will need to secure 60 votes rather than a simple majority.
In response to the potential political maneuver, Trump has encouraged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “go nuclear” should the Democrats move to block the nomination.
Vice President Mike Pence said Gorsuch will be confirmed to the Supreme Court “one way or the other,” in a speech delivered in Philadelphia on Feb. 4.
Many Democrats still seem incensed over the Republican controlled Senate blocking a vote on former president Barack Obama’s choice for the seat: Judge Merrick Garland.
While the nomination has been lauded by Republicans and conservatives, many legal and civil rights organizations have denounced Gorsuch, saying he will move to scrap key protections for workers, women and the LGBT community.
Gorsuch has drawn comparisons to the man he would be replacing on the bench, the controversial Justice Scalia.
Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a “textualist” and a supporter of “originalism.”
Textualism is the belief only the wording of laws, and not their potential consequences, should be reviewed. Originalism proposes the constitution should be interpreted as it was understood at the time of its writing.
The announcement came late on Tuesday, Jan. 31, during a primetime White House ceremony.
Trump characterized his process of selecting a nominee as potentially “the most transparent judicial selection process in history.”
Following his introduction by Trump, Gorsuch said: “Standing here in a house of history, and acutely aware of my own imperfections, I pledge that if I am confirmed, I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the constitution and laws of this great country.”
Gorsuch pursued his undergrad at Columbia, is a graduate of Harvard Law and received a Marshall scholarship to Oxford. He is a former partner at one of Washington’s top litigation firms, where he pursued a series of successful cases.
He has been in his current position for 10 years.
The other reported finalist on Trump’s shortlist was Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, who is also a federal appeals court judge.
If confirmed, Gorsuch would become the youngest Supreme Court justice since Clarence Thomas in 1991. There is currently no clear timeline for his confirmation.