Judge Neil Gorsuch is Trump's pick for Supreme Court justice: Here's what you should know

Mary Rechtoris - Print  |

In a slew of recent orders, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Colorado, to fill the Supreme Court position vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

Here are five things to know about Judge Gorsuch:

1. At 49 years old, Judge Gorsuch would be the youngest judge to take a position on the Supreme Court since Judge Clarence Thomas' confirmation more than two decades ago in 1991, according to the Washington Post. He will be the 113th justice if confirmed.

2. Judge Gorsuch hails from a Republican family in which his mother, Ann Gorsuch Burford, was a high-ranking official in former President Ronald Reagan's administration. She was the first female administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Judge Gorsuch has an extensive educational background, attending Boston-based Harvard Law School alongside former President Barack Obama. He also attended the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. 

3. While many may draw similarities between Justice Scalia, who passed away in February 2016, and Judge Gorsuch, the NYT reports Judge Gorusch may more closely parallel Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a moderate conservative.

The NYT reports Judge Gorsuch is an originalist, meaning his interpretation of the Constitution falls in line who those who originally drafted the document. Therefore, his views tend to be "generally but not uniformly conservative." Judge Gorsuch wrote in a concurrence in 2016, "Ours is the job of interpreting the Constitution. And that document isn't some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams."

4. Judge Gorusch has ruled on various major cases, such as Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor case, which Politico says is the "considered to be among the highest-profile challenges to the ACA."

In the case, Judge Gorsuch ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Hobby Lobby's owners, who opposed the law that required employed-based group health plans to provide certain types of contraceptives. The plaintiff said the coverage defied their religious convictions. In the ruling, Judge Gorsuch wrote in a concurring opinion, "As the Greens explain their complaint, the ACA's mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong."

5. He is in stark opposition of assisted suicide and euthanasia and published a book in 2006 titled The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. A lawyer and jurist, Judge Gorsuch evaluates the practices' legal and ethical implications in his book. The Washington Post reports Judge Gorsuch's opposition stems from his belief in the "inviolability" of human life.

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