President Donald Trump has officially nominated Neil Gorsuch to take the open seat on the Supreme Court that's been left open since Antonin Scalia passed away last February. One thing many people are noticing: his age. But how does it compare to history — Who was the youngest Supreme Court judge ever?
There's been some chatter over the new Supreme Court nominee and his relative youth at 49 years of age. It's made him a more attractive nominee to President Trump and the GOP since it means that he could potentially be sitting on the court into the middle of this century. The decision of who will fill the gaping hole in the highest court in the land matters quite a lot in fact, despite the slew of cabinet nominees, a Supreme Court pick may be a president's most important. Since the position is for life, a nominee's ability to, well, have long career on the bench (i.e. not retire or die) is certainly considered.
If selected, Gorsuch wouldn't be the youngest judge to be nominated to the court, though. The youngest Supreme Court judge ever is another Harvard grad and fellow Republican, Joseph Story. He was 32-years-old when President James Madison appointed him to be a Supreme Court judge.
Even if you disagree with his rulings, it's hard to argue against the fact that Gorsuch has the qualifications: he completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia and then studied Harvard Law. He also received his doctorate from Oxford. He's served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and as a clerk to Supreme Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, among other prestigious achievements.
President Trump said in his nomination speech: "Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support. When he was nominated to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, he was confirmed by the Senate unanimously."
However, Democrats, like Sen. Chuck Schumer, on the other hand, have their concerns:
"Now more than ever, we need a Supreme Court Justice who is independent, eschews ideology, who will preserve our democracy, protect fundamental rights, and will stand up to a President who has already shown a willingness to bend the Constitution ... given his record, I have very serious doubts about Judge Gorsuch’s ability to meet this standard. Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly sided with corporations over working people, demonstrated a hostility toward women’s rights, and most troubling, hewed to an ideological approach to jurisprudence that makes me skeptical that he can be a strong, independent Justice on the Court.
At a time when such decisions like Roe v. Wade are potentially at risk, according to the president himself, Gorsuch is concerning to many pro-choice activists. And considering his young age, he could be tipping the Supreme Court scales for decades to come.