Gorsuch, a federal appellate judge in Denver, practices strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. His policy preferences mirror those of Justice Antonin Scalia — whose death last year left the seat vacant, said Kevin McGuire, UNC political science professor.
“That won’t change the ideological lineup of the court in any significant way,” he said.
Scott de Marchi, a Duke University political science professor, said Gorsuch — or a similar judge — would have likely been any elected Republican president’s pick.
“This is what you were going to get if the Republicans won the White House,” de Marchi said.
U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, indicated his party will demand a supermajority of 60 votes to confirm the nominee — likely resulting in a Democratic filibuster.
The move comes after Republican senators filibustered former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, until the end of his term.
“On a subject as important as a Supreme Court nomination, bipartisan support should be a prerequisite. It should be essential. That’s what 60 votes does,” Schumer said in a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor.