President Donald Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday night. Scalia died unexpectedly during former President Barack Obama's final year in office, but Senate Republicans refused to consider his nominee, Merrick Garland.
During his nomination of Gorsuch, Trump took a moment to recognize the late Scalia’s wife, Maureen, who was present at the announcement. Trump said Scalia’s “image and genius were in my mind throughout the decision-making process.”
“The qualifications of Judge Gorsuch are beyond dispute,” Trump said. “He’s the man of our country and a man who our country really needs and needs badly to ensure the rule of law and the rule of justice.”
Gorsuch is a federal appeals court judge in Denver. He received his law degree from Harvard and clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Byron White and current Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“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 said.
Following Trump’s announcement, Chicago Tonight had reaction from Daniel Hemel, assistant professor at the University of Chicago law school and a former clerk for Justice Elena Kagan; and Travis Lenkner, managing director of Burford Capital and a former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy.
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