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Trump Tilts Supreme Court’s Balance 5-4 in Favor of Conservatives | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fort Worth, Texas, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Washington- United States President Donald Trump has officially nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Trump seized an unusual and early opportunity to restore conservatives to the majority of posts at America’s top court.

More so, Trump invited Gorsuch and his wife to emerge dramatically before an audience in the East Room of the White House.

For Trump, the selection is payback to evangelical Christian and conservative Republicans who backed his bid for the presidency — at times reluctantly.

Should the Senate approve Gorsuch, he will fill the seat made vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago. Appointing another conservative to the court will tilt the balance five-to-four in conservatives’ favor.

Gorsuch could have a major impact on cases ranging from business regulation to gender rights to gun control, AFP reported.

Trump saw that instating Gorsuch, in a way, fulfills promises made to the public –“I am a man of my word. I will do as I say — something that the American people have been asking for from Washington for a very, very long time,” he said.

Given the advanced age of several sitting justices, Trump could potentially make several appointments during his term, shaping the court’s direction for a generation.

Much Democratic opposition to Gorsuch is likely due to the refusal by Congressional Republicans, following Scalia’s death, to give then former president Barack Obama’s court pick a confirmation hearing.

Democrats, who are in a minority in both chambers of Congress, are still smarting from Republican treatment of Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland.

Although Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, they need 60 to confirm a nominee.

That means Gorsuch must be able to win some Democratic votes, which is incidentally difficult given the great row over Trump’s ban on travelers from several Muslim countries.

“A little more than a week into the Trump presidency, the new administration has violated our core values, challenged the separation of powers, and tested the very fabric of our Constitution in unprecedented fashion,” said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.