President Donald Trump named federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to fill the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat previously occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio praised the president's pick.
“Judge Gorsuch is a highly qualified, mainstream jurist, which is why he was unanimously confirmed to the circuit court by the Senate in 2006," said Rubio. "By all accounts he has the right temperament and experience for the job, and I’m pleased to see him nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Gorsuch, age 49, was nominated to 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush, and he has served on the court for more than a decade. He previously clerked for Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
"Most importantly, he is committed to the principles of original intent and judicial restraint," added Rubio. "This is critical, because too many in the federal judiciary today believe it is appropriate for judges to invent new policies and rights instead of interpreting and defending the Constitution as it is written."
The National Law Journal's Tony Mauro writes that, "In choosing Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump opted for a candidate with traditional credentials shared by most modern-day justices."
Despite this resume, Gorsuch will likely face fierce opposition from U.S. Senate Democrats.
Politico reports that Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), in an interview given a day before Trump's pick was even announced, said that, "We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”
This obstruction is neither principled nor reasonable, considering we just had an election where the future of the Supreme Court was a central issue not only at the presidential level but in every Senate contest," said Rubio. "On the issue of this Supreme Court nomination specifically, the American people gave the president and the Republican-controlled Senate a mandate to choose a successor to Antonin Scalia. Senate Democrats should accept the results of the election and allow the process to move forward with a vote."