President Donald Trump named federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to fill the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat previously occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
U.S. senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) praised the president's pick.
"Filling Justice Scalia’s seat with a principled conservative who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench should be our top priority," said Flake in a statement. "I am confident that Judge Neil Gorsuch fits the bill, and I'll do whatever I can to see that he receives an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate."
Gorsuch, age 49, was nominated to 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush, and he has served on the court for more than a decade. He previously clerked for Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
"Judge Gorsuch’s impressive legal background and judicial career demonstrate he has the right experience and judgment needed to serve on our nation’s highest court," said McCain. "Moreover, his record of upholding the Constitution and respecting the limited role of the judiciary makes him a fitting choice to fill the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia."
The National Law Journal's Tony Mauro writes that, "In choosing Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump opted for a candidate with traditional credentials shared by most modern-day justices."
Despite this resume, Gorsuch will likely face fierce opposition from U.S. Senate Democrats.
Politico reports that Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), in an interview given a day before Trump's pick was even announced, said that, "We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”