EL PASO, Texas - President Donald Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his pick for Supreme Court nominee Tuesday night to fill the seat once held by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
At 49, Gorsuch, a Denver-based judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, would be the youngest justice to hold a seat in the Supreme Court..
As a cautionary move to deter Senate Democrats from a filibuster, Trump advised Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell to make sure Gorsuch fills the vacant seat.
"Go Nuclear," said Trump."Because that would be an absolute shame if a man of his quality was caught up in the web."
Republicans praised Gorsuch for having conservative values akin to Justice Antonin Scalia. Democrats, on the other hand, have said Gorsuch favors large corporations over workers and disregards women's reproductive rights.
"We have a message for members of the Senate on Judge Gorsuch: opposing Roe v Wade is a disqualifier," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood of America. "Nominees to the highest court in the land must make clear that they will protect our fundamental rights, including the right of a woman to control her body."
When it comes to the Supreme Court, the labels "conservative", and "liberal" have more to do with the interpretation the Constitution than their political leaning.
"Conservatives judges usually interpret the constitution in terms of a textualism approach, which means they assume the constitution says what it means," said Todd Curry, political science professor at University of Texas at El Paso.
Curry said liberal judges adjust rights in the Constitution to today's society. "Rights that were not naturally written into the Constitution, but interpret the constitution more broadly to draw those rights in," Curry added.
Shifts in political leadership occur with the new issues our countries face. Curry said Republicans are aware of the shifts, and may not "go nuclear."
"They don't want to get rid of the filibuster," said Curry. "Why? Because some year they're not going to be in the majority. It reduces their power when they're in the minority.
Within hours of the announcement, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network aired ads across the Midwest, and vowed to spend $10 million to ensure Gorsuch is confirmed.