Last year, the political world and dynamics were completely changed when conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia suddenly passed away. To fill the vacancy, President Obama nominated Appeals Judge Merrick Garland. However, the Republican controlled Senate refused to hold hearings for Obama’s nominee, stating they believed a vacancy so late into a President’s final term should be decided by the voters, rather than a lame duck President.
Eventually, Donald Trump and the Republicans won the election. It became clear that the vacancy would be filled by Trump, rather than Obama, Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrat. Trump had released a list of conservative judges which he stated he would nominate to the Supreme Court. The purpose of this list was largely to show hesitant conservatives that they could trust him to nominate somebody similar to Scalia.
Read also: Who is Neil Gorsuch?
Now, Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch. His qualifications are stellar, and it is very unlikely that any issue taken with the Appeals Judge will be in regards to his record or qualifications. He has been noted as a strict originalist and Constitutionalist. Gorsuch has had over seventy meetings with sitting Senators at this point.
It is widely expected that with his strong credentials, any opposition will be based on how the Republicans had treated Garland. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds as the Republican Senate majority can use the “nuclear option” to be able to confirm Garland with a simple majority of members of the Senate. This would ultimately take away any ability of the Democrats to not confirm Gorsuch.
Be sure to watch the confirmation hearing live here and let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!