Judge Neil Gorsuch (L) speaks after U.S. President Donald Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court, at the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States, Jan. 31, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump announced Tuesday night he picked judge Neil Gorsuch as the new justice for the Supreme Court, which has been evenly divided between Democratic appointees and Republican ones since Justice Antonin Scalia died last February. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump announced Tuesday night he has nominated judge Neil Gorsuch as the new justice for the Supreme Court, a move expected to meet with resistance from Democrats.
"Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support," said Trump in his first televised address from the White House.
In a quick response, House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted Trump's choice as "a very hostile appointment" and "a very bad decision, well outside the mainstream of American legal thought."
Gorsuch, a 49-year-old judge sitting on the 10th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, is the youngest nominee in 25 years to the lifetime position.
However, nasty partisan fights are expected ahead over Gorsuch's confirmation in the Senate, where Supreme Court nominees can be filibustered.
Pelosi said Senate Democrats, holding 48 seats in the Senate, should apply the "strongest scrutiny" during Gorsuch's confirmation, but didn't mention if Democrats would filibuster Gorsuch.
"I only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once, for the good of the country," Trump said.
"Elections have ramifications, and here is a living, breathing example of it," Pelosi said on CNN, citing Gorsuch's rulings on health care, gun safety and environmental issues.
The U.S. Supreme Court has been evenly divided between Democratic appointees and Republican ones since Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly died last February.
Earlier this month, several Senate Democrats vowed to block any nominee picked by Trump other than Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by former president Barack Obama but refused by Senate Republicans last year.
However, so long as Justice Anthony Kennedy continues to support the broad outlines of the constitutional right to abortion set up in 1973, the addition of a new justice is not likely to make a difference, said a New York Times report, noting that the race-conscious admission programs, the so-called Affirmative Action plan, seems safe too.
But environmental regulations aimed to combat global warming, as well as contraception and transgender cases, may fizzle before the future right-leaning Supreme Court, said the report.
A Colorado native, Gorsuch holds degrees from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford. He served as a law clerk for the late Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 1990s. He was appointed to the appeals court by President George W. Bush in 2006.