President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday night to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy that was left after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago.
Gorsuch, 49, graduated from Harvard Law School and received the prestigious Marshall scholarship to attend Oxford University. He has served on the Colorado-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006 and previously was a clerk for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
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Trump's nominee to the high court also previously worked in a private practice at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, and as an official in the Justice Department during the Bush administration.
Gorsuch is known as a conservative judge who, like Scalia, is a strong textualist with an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. He has pushed back against efforts to derail religious expression in public spaces and has defended religious exemptions, objecting to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.
Gorsuch has also been compared to Scalia because of his writing skills.
Because Gorsuch is only 49 years old, he could potentially serve on the Supreme court for decades.
The two leading finalists for Trump's pick to the Supreme Court were believed to be Gorsuch and Thomas M. Hardiman of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, who has served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997, to be his Supreme Court pick in March of last year.
The nomination was almost immediately blocked by Senate Republicans, who vowed to not give him a hearing.
Garland returned to the D.C. Circuit Court in December, weeks after Trump was elected president.
Many congressional Democrats have said they plan to do everything possible to block Trump's Supreme Court nominee, regardless of the individual.