The Supreme Court has been one justice short since the death of Antonin Scalia on February 12, 2016. Former President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, cooled his heels waiting for a hearing, but with the end of Obama’s tenure comes the end of Garland’s chance. Here’s what you need to know about President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
1. Gorsuch will probably be the next Supreme Court justice
On April 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to send President Trump’s nomination to the full senate, where he’s projected to get all Republican votes as well as several Democrat votes. That will easily put him over the minimum of 60 votes he needs.
2. He has serious legal cred
Gorsuch holds degrees from Oxford, Columbia and Harvard, where he was a classmate of President Obama. The nominee also clerked for two Supreme Court justices and has served on Colorado’s 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
3. He opposed Obamacare’s broad contraceptive coverage
In a dissent published in 2013, Gorsuch argued that Hobby Lobby shouldn’t have to provide a health plan that covers birth control to its employees because it conflicted with the owners’ religious beliefs. Does this mean he’ll side with protecting religious preferences in the business world in the future? Only time will tell.
4. He has repeatedly argued against assisted suicide for terminally ill patients
Gorsuch makes no secret that he doesn’t agree with allowing those with painful terminal illnesses to end their lives early, believing that it devalues the sanctity of life. Gorsuch also published a book about assisted suicide, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” in 2006.
5. Gorsuch might wear camo under his black robes
Gorsuch is an avowed lover of the outdoors. Gun enthusiasts and others concerned with the Second Amendment may take this as a signal that he won’t uphold stringent rulings about firearms.