President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a fast-rising conservative judge with a writer's flair, to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The selection is expected to spark a fierce fight with Democrats over a jurist who could shape America's legal landscape for decades to come.
Gorsuch, 49, will need to be confirmed by the Senate to fill the seat left vacant by the death last year of Antonin Scalia, long the right's most powerful voice on the high court.
Some Democrats, still smarting over Trump's unexpected victory in the presidential election, have vowed to mount a vigorous challenge to nearly any nominee to what they view as the court's "stolen seat." President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland for the vacancy after Scalia's death, but Senate Republicans refused to consider the pick, saying the seat should be filled only after the November election.
Here is what Illinois’ senators are saying about the Gorsuch’s nomination:
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin:
“Only 12 days into this Administration, we’ve already seen unlawful executive orders blocked by a federal court, and the unprecedented dismissal of an Attorney General for disagreeing with the President. I believe the independence of our judicial system, and especially the Supreme Court, is more critical now than at any time in recent history. That is the context in which I will review this nomination.
I will meet with Judge Gorsuch and support a hearing and a vote for him — both of which were denied to an eminently qualified nominee presented by President Obama.
The American people need to know what they can expect from this nominee, and that he will protect our fundamental constitutional rights on issues like voting rights, immigration, privacy, and women’s health. In recent years, the Court’s decisions have shifted dramatically toward big money corporate interests at the expense of American workers and small businesses—we need a Court that is on the side of Main Street, not Wall Street.
This Supreme Court seat does not belong to President Trump or to any political party. It belongs to the American people, and I will work to make sure their voices are heard in this debate.”
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth:
“I take seriously my constitutional responsibility as a United States Senator to evaluate Judge Gorsuch’s qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Over the coming weeks, I will thoroughly assess his rulings and writings on a range of issues, particularly on civil and disability rights.
While I will reserve judgment on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination until his confirmation hearing in order to give my decision the diligence it deserves, I am troubled by his judicial record of undermining the Federal Government’s ability to protect labor and environmental rights, his hostility towards a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices, and by one of his previous rulings that refused to hold law enforcement accountable for excessive force that led to a young man’s death. I am also concerned by several of Judge Gorsuch’s rulings that would deny students with disabilities the right to a quality public education.
It is vital that the Supreme Court serve as an independent, objective check on the President and Congress. Judge Gorsuch must prove he can fulfill that duty.”