Here's President Trump's choice for the Supreme Court

Trump says Neil Gorsuch takes the same judicial approach as the late Justice Antonin Scalia
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President Donald Trump's choice to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is Neil Gorsuch.

Gorsuch, 49, has been serving on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in his native Colorado since 2006. The White House calls him "a brilliant jurist with an outstanding intellect and a clear, incisive writing style."

Conservative analysts of the court see Gorsuch as an heir to Justice Antonin Scalia in leading the high court's conservative bloc, Politico says. If he's confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch would take Scalia's seat on the bench.

A writer for the National Review notes that Gorsuch, much like Scalia, has been less focused on previous court rulings than on the original text and meaning of laws and the Constitution – a judicial philosophy sometimes called originalism.

Gorsuch has degrees from Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford. He's also been a clerk for two Supreme Court justices. Find a full bio with background on his court decisions here.

He's a Denver native and the Denver Post says he enjoys hunting, fishing, and skiing.

Seat vacant for nearly a year

The nine-member Supreme Court has had only eight justices on the bench since last February, when Justice Scalia was found dead at a resort in Texas. Scalia, 79, had served on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years and was known as the intellectual leader of its conservative wing.

Republican leaders of the Senate argued President Barack Obama should not choose a successor during an election year and should instead leave that to the next president.

Obama said 11 months was too much time to leave the Supreme Court shorthanded. He nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, thinking that Garland's reputation as a moderate might get him confirmed. But the Senate did not hold hearings on the nomination.

A timeline put together by the Associated Press mentions some of the 2016 cases on which the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4. In those cases the ruling of the appeals court was allowed to stand.

Trump first released a list of 11 possible Supreme Court picks back in May. He later added to it, shortened it, then invited his two finalists – Gorsuch and another Appeals Court Judge, Thomas Hardiman – to the White House for Tuesday evening's prime time announcement.

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