SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP/NBC) – President Donald Trump made a prime-time reveal Tuesday night that conservative Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Denver, is his pick for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. “He is a man of our country and a man our country really needs,” Trump said.
Gorsuch, who is 49, could serve on the high court for decades. He is considered an ideological heir to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Some Democrats promised to filibuster any pick who isn’t Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee, who Republicans refused to give a vote or hearing.
To be confirmed, Gorsuch will need 60 Senate votes, something Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is insistent upon. That is unless Republicans decide to overrule the process, changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority vote to approve the pick.
Western New England University Law Professor Arthur Wolf said Gorsuch’ credentials are highly regarded, “He’s a person who relates well with others and with a body that has only nine people on it you have to have someone who can work well with others on the court.”
While Gorsuch hasn’t displayed his philosophy on certain political topics, it would not alter the court’s ideological divide. “If President Trump gets another nomination or another opportunity to appoint another Justice that might very well make a difference on the way the court has been voting on critical issues,” Professor Wolf said.
Now it will largely come to Democratic Senators, whether Gorsuch is nominated. The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he stands behind Trumps pick.