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Trump Picks Colorado Judge As Nominee For U.S. Supreme Court

By Rick Sallinger

WASHINGTON, Colo. (CBS4) - Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch has been appointed by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump's announcement was made in a 6 p.m. Mountain Time made-for-TV special carried by the national networks.

At the White House the president came to a lectern alone saying he made a promise if elected that he would find the very best justice in the country. He then announced Gorsuch was his appointee.

Neil Gorsuch
Neil Gorsuch (credit: CBS)

Gorsuch and his wife Louise then came to the podium. The 49-year-old Gorsuch, who lives in Boulder, would become the youngest justice on the high court if he is confirmed. He is known as a conservative who is a brilliant writer, an author and an avid skier.

Colorado attorney Michael Burg has argued cases before Gorsuch.

Colorado attorney Michael Burg
Colorado attorney Michael Burg is interviewed by CBS4's Rick Sallinger (credit: CBS)

"He is certainly capable, he's intellectual, he's smart; someone who could fit very well in that Supreme Court," Burg told CBS 4 reporter Rick Sallinger.

Gorsuch attended the elite Georgetown Prep School in Maryland before going on to Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford.

Neil Gorsuch
Neil Gorsuch (credit: Georgetown Prep yearbook)

He was appointed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals President George W. Bush in 2006.

Dick Wadhams, the former Colorado GOP chair, feels confirmation would be likely.

"His record is just so impeccable, I don't think they can lay a hand on him," Wadhams said.

The case frequently cited in connection with Gorsuch was of Hobby Lobby in which the judge and Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the company against providing contraception coverage for its workers.

Karen Middleton heads NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

"Truly anyone that President Trump is nominating right now … he has gone record that he wants to put someone on the Supreme Court for a lifetime who will basically block women's rights and the right to a woman's privacy," Middleton said.

Gorsuch is the son of Anne Gorsuch, who served as President Ronald Reagan's Environmental Protection Agency chief.

Gorsuch also is a professor at University of Colorado's law school.

Byron White
Byron White (credit: CBS)
Byron White
Byron White (credit: CBS)

He also served as a law clerk to Justices Anthony Kennedy and Byron White, also from Colorado. White was known as Whizzer White when he was a football star.

Now, pending confirmation, Colorado may have another appointed to the nation's highest court.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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