Trump said on January 24 that he would reach a decision later in the week on his nominee to fill the empty seat, which has been vacant for almost one year. The nominee is almost assured to incite a political brawl early on in Trump’s presidency.
Business Insider reported that Trump has narrowed his candidate list to three: William Pryor, Thomas Hardiman and Neil Gorsuch.
Among the three, Gorsuch, a 49-year-old conservative judge from Colorado, is reportedly the top candidate to be selected.
Here’s what you need to know about Gorsuch:
1. Gorsuch Was Appointed by George W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals
On May 10, 2006, Gorsuch was nominated to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. He was confirmed two months later on July 20, 2006.
Through his decade on the Court of Appeals, he became known as a “feeder judge,” which means numerous of his law clerks went on to be Supreme Court clerks.
2. He Holds Degrees From Prestigious Universities
Gorsuch was born in Denver, Colorado and graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School.
Following that, he received his bachelors’s degree from Columbia University, where he co-founded the school newspaper, The Fed and won a Truman Scholarship.
After that, he earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Then, Gorsuch earned a Doctorate of Legal Philosophy from Oxford University. At Oxford, he studied Marshall Scholar.
With a firm education, Gorsuch worked his way through the judicial ranks, clerking for various judges, including the Supreme Court for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He then went into private practice and served as the Deputy Associate Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice from 2005-2006.
3. Gorsuch Has Worked on Two Books
Gorsuch is also an experienced author.
His first book was called The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, which gives an overview of legal and ethical challenges that assisted suicide and euthanasia have created. The book was published by the Princeton University Press in the summer of 2006.
According to Princeton, the book gives the “most comprehensive argument against the legalization of the two ever published.”
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Gorsuch assesses the strengths and weaknesses arguments for, and against assisted suicide and euthanasia. He goes through past cases and analizes the arguments for legalization.
The book comes to the conclusion that “the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong.” It also speaks about the refusal of unwanted medical treatment and life-saving care.
Gorsuch was also a co-author of The Law of Judicial Precedent, a book published by Thomson West in 2016. He was one of 13 coauthors on the book, which focused on the doctrine of precedent.
4. His Mother, Anne Gorsuch, Was the First Female EPA Director
Gorsuch is the son of Anne Gorsuch Burford. She died in 2004 after a battle with cancer in Colorado, a Washington Post obituary story wrote. She was 62-years old when she died.
Neil’s mom is mostly known for being the director of the Environmental Protection Agency under then-President Ronald Reagan. She became the first female head of the government agency when she was appointed.
Reagan appointed her because he cited her as a “leader in his effort to bring economic discipline to environmental cleanup and to give the states greater enforcement powers on matters like clean air and water,” the New York Times reported. However, critics blamed her for assisting industries that were leaders in pollution. The claims against Anne were magnified when documents regarding toxic waste cleanup were ordered by a subcommittee of the House of Representatives. She refused to hand the documents over, instead saying that she would rather go to jail than surrender to Congress. She resigned from the director role in March of 1983
5. Gorsuch Reportedly is Similar to Anton Scalia
Donald Trump is expected to announce a U.S. Supreme Court pick next week. His short list reportedly includes judges Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman, William Pryor, and Diane Sykes.