Trump revealed his nominee for Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday in a way that only he could — with a flashy press conference littered with the words “tremendous” and “brilliant.” His nominee was conservative (shocker) federal appellate judge Neil Gorsuch. Unlike most of Trump’s other choices for cabinet and official positions, Gorsuch actually fits the qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice and follows the pattern of many other justices — graduating from Ivy League universities and serving as a law clerk for two Supreme Court Justices. Here are a few fast facts to keep in mind about SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch.
1. Gorsuch is the youngest SCOTUS nominee in 25 years.
At just 49-years-old Gorsuch would be the youngest of the Supreme Court Justices if his nomination is approved. To put things in perspective — Gorsuch graduated Harvard Law in the same class as Obama. This can be scary because if Gorsuch is the conservative hero that Republican’s all regard him as then it could be looking at a longer holding conservative majority Supreme Court.
2. He has ties to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
Gorsuch worked as Kennedy’s law clerk before he became an appellate judge. Kennedy is currently serving as a Supreme Court Justice and had been pondering retirement for some time, by nominating Gorsuch for SCOTUS — a nominee much less radical than many expected — Trump could be trying to reassure Kennedy into retirement and open another Supreme Court seat to fill.
3. Gorsuch is seen as an originalist.
This means that he interprets laws and the constitution “consistently with the understanding of those who drafted and adopted it.” This means that most of his decisions will lean more or less to the conservative side. This also makes him a good mold for Scalia’s seat as Scalia was also an originalist.
4. He has been an outspoken advocate for religious freedom.
He has used it as an excuse to bulldoze contraception legislation and argue against it. Just last September Gorsuch was a part of a dissent that argued “requirements for contraception coverage in Obamacare ran roughshod over the rights of religious non-profits” according to Politico, and sided with employers in refusing to supply contraceptives to female workers. He has also written a law journal strongly arguing against assisted-suicide.
5. His family has ties to Washington.
Gorsuch’s mother, Anne Burford Gorsuch, was head of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Reagan administration. According to Politico, she was never charged but forced to resign in 1983 “facing a criminal investigation and a House contempt of Congress citation over records related to alleged political favoritism in toxic-waste cleanups.”
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