President Donald Trump announced his pick for the United States Supreme Court today via Facebook Live. While the method may have been progressive, his pick was decidedly not. Trump is hoping to fill the court's empty seat — which has been vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 — with Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge. Unsurprisingly, the reactions from politicians and advocacy groups seemed to be split down party lines. Many see Gorsuch as an extension of Scalia. SCOTUSBlog draws a slew of parallels and calls the resemblance "eerie." "He is an ardent textualist (like Scalia); he believes criminal laws should be clear and interpreted in favor of defendants even if that hurts government prosecutions (like Scalia); he is skeptical of efforts to purge religious expression from public spaces (like Scalia); he is highly dubious of legislative history (like Scalia); and he is less than enamored of the dormant commerce clause (like Scalia)."
An official tweet from the White House praised Gorsuch's "commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its text."
Though Mike Coffman, a Republican from Colorado, called Trump's travel ban an "embarrassment," he and a few of his colleagues from the Centennial State praised Gorsuch.
But critics were voicing their own opinions, as well. Debra Hauser, president of Advocates for Youth, which works to inform and educate young people about reproductive and sexual health, wrote, "The Supreme Court faces many tests in the months ahead — tests of the law, and tests of its humanity. Abortion rights remain under attack in every state. Heartless legislators place LGBT youth at risk with 'bathroom bills' that equate to unmitigated discrimination against transgender youth and legislation that condones the refusal of services simply because of a person's sexual orientation." "Neil Gorsuch cannot and does not meet these basic qualifications for a Supreme Court Justice who will respect all people and honor the law. Advocates for Youth strongly opposes this nominee and urges the Senate to reject him." Emily's List and NARAL both tweeted about Gorsuch's past decisions on abortion and other women's health issues.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the United States House of Representatives, issued a statement that read, in part, "Judge Gorsuch’s record reveals he holds radical views far outside the mainstream of American legal thought. The consequences of placing President Trump’s justice on the Supreme Court could not be more serious or far-reaching."