U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated a federal Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, choosing a jurist widely seen by conservatives as a fitting successor to the late Antonin Scalia.
According to Foxnews the development Gorsuch will have a fierce confirmation battle with Senate Democrats already vowing resistance.
Touting his nominee’s credentials and legal mind, the president said he was living up to his own vow during the campaign to nominate someone who respects the law and “loves” the Constitution.
“Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support,” Trump said, noting he was confirmed unanimously to his current judicial post.
He quipped: “Does that happen anymore?”
Gorsuch, 49, has served on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver for more than a decade.
Trump’s move to elevate Gorsuch was hailed by a range of conservative groups and Republican lawmakers late Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the judge an “outstanding” pick who “understands the constitutional limits on the authority of a federal judge.”
Trump’s choice, if confirmed to the high court, would take the seat that has remained vacant since Justice Scalia died nearly a year ago.
The nominee was among Trump’s original list of 21 potential choices circulated during the presidential campaign.
But Democrats are still smarting over Republicans’ refusal to consider then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, and some have vowed to retaliate by opposing Trump’s pick.
Late Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer raised the potential threat of a filibuster, saying the Senate “must insist” the nominee garner 60 votes.
If Schumer or any of his colleagues take the procedural step to require 60 votes, Trump would need to find at least eight Democrats to join Republicans in supporting his pick.
“The burden is on Judge Neil Gorsuch to prove himself to be within the legal mainstream and, in this new era, willing to vigorously defend the Constitution from abuses of the Executive branch and protect the constitutionally enshrined rights of all Americans,” Schumer said in a statement.
“Given his record, I have very serious doubts about Judge Gorsuch’s ability to meet this standard.”
Trump, though, said his nominee’s qualifications “are beyond dispute.”
He added, “I only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once, for the good of the country.”
Read more: Foxnews