U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch, a Federal Appeals Court Judge, to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Mr. Trump announced Gorsuch’s nomination at a televised event at the White House on Tuesday night.
He described the nomination of the Supreme Court Judge as the most important decision of the U.S. President.
“I am a man of my word. I will do as I say,” Mr. Trump said, adding: “today, I am keeping my promise to the people of the United States to nominate a Supreme Court Judge that everybody will respect”.
“The most important decision the President of the United States can make is that of the Supreme Court Judge of the United States.
“They can serve for 50 years, enjoys bi-partisan support; he’s among the finest and most brilliant Judge.
“This is the man our country badly needs to uphold the rule of law and justice.”
“This is a man beyond reproach, who has served our country, and therefore deserves respect,” Mr. Trump said apparently referring to the Democrats.
The president expressed the hope that his nomination would be confirmed without any blockade by the Senate Democrats who have been prepared to carry out a revenge of the blockade of former President Barack Obama’s nominees by the Republicans.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Gorsuch, in his remarks, accepted his nomination by Mr. Trump and thanked him for the great responsibility.
“You have given me the most solemn assignment,” Mr. Gorsuch told Mr. Trump.
The new nominee is seen as the favourite of the conservative legal establishment to fill the opening created by the death of Scalia.
Mr. Gorsuch, who currently serves on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, was appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote, enjoying bi-partisan support.
Seen as a widely respected judge, he had the backing of two conservative legal groups that advised Mr. Obama, and included his name on a list of potential nominees.
Mr. Scalia died on February 13, 2016, and there has been a vacancy on the nine-member court ever since.
The Republicans had since then argued that the next president, not Mr. Obama, should choose the next justice.
Like Mr. Scalia, Mr. Gorsuch is seen as a proponent of originalism, meaning that judges should attempt to interpret the words of the Constitution as they were understood at the time they were written, and a textualist who considers only the words of the law being reviewed, not legislators’ intent or the consequences of the decision.
This is in sharp contrast to the liberals favoured by the Democrats who believe that the Constitution should be interpreted based on the evolution of the country.
Mr. Gorsuch’s confirmation is expected to witness lots of lobbying from groups, particularly groups and corporations that support abortion, gay and other liberal views.
Who gets nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court is a topmost important political issue as the current eight-member Court has equal number of four Judges as “originalists” and “liberals”, and the ninth Judge, which gives the deciding vote is always seen as the most important appointment of the President.
A U.S. Supreme Court Judge is for life, and could spend 50 years or more on the bench without retirement except by death.