by Sophia Contreras
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, President Donald Trump named Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court. Gorsuch has an outstanding resume with degrees from Columbia, Harvard Law School and Oxford. Gorsuch also clerked for conservative Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals, as well as Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court.
If Gorsuch’s nomination is approved, it will not be his first time in Washington. Aside from being highly regarded during the Bush administration, Gorsuch also spent much of his childhood in D.C. while his mother, Anne Gorsuch, served in the Reagan administration as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 2006, Gorsuch was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals by the Bush administration. Gorsuch is most well-known for his conservative views. He has openly opposed federal birth control funding, women’s rights and the restriction of religious influences in the work place, along with having sided with corporations over working class people.
During the presidential campaign, Trump promised his voters a conservative judge who would follow previous Justice Scalia’s views. Gorsuch promises to do just that, and has openly stated his admiration for Justice Scalia.
“Justice Scalia was a lion of the law, and I will act as a servant of the Constitution and laws of this country,” said Gorsuch during the announcement of his nomination at the White House.
Gorsuch is 49 years old and currently resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Louise, and two daughters. Gorsuch’s young age will allow him to carry Trump’s promise of a conservative judge for an extended period of time. Gorsuch’s views include protecting the second amendment and enforcing the death penalty when necessary.
Despite Gorsuch’s impressive resume and experience, he has received major pushback from Democrats who fear that having another conservative judge like Scalia will prevent them from having majority, making them dependent on the Supreme Court swing vote of Justice Kennedy.
Democrats are also upset because, during the Obama administration, Republicans refused to hold hearings for Obama’s nominee, with the reasoning that the election was only eight months away. Democrats have said they would “fight tooth and nail” and question Gorsuch’s credentials and experience. It has been rumored that the Democrats plan on holding a filibuster to prevent Gorsuch from becoming a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Research done by professors from Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and Harvard University have found that, in addition to Gorsuch’s ideologies, political donations have also pushed similar conservative ideologies. The researchers found, “Judge Gorsuch is estimated to be more conservative than 87 percent of all other federal judges.”
The current vote is 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats. If the filibuster cannot be broken, Trump has suggested using the “nuclear option,” which refers to leaving it up to a simple majority instead of the 60 required votes. However, this decision is ultimately up to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.
The next confirmation hearing is predicted to take place in about six weeks. Until then, Democrats stated they plan to stand their ground and continue with their filibuster.