Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
When Justice Scalia passed away suddenly last February, I made a promise to the American people: If I were elected president, I would find the very best judge in the country for the Supreme Court. I promised to select someone who respects our laws and is representative of our Constitution and who loves our Constitution and someone who will interpret them as written.
This may be the most transparent judicial selection process in history. Months ago as a candidate, I publicly presented a list of brilliant and accomplished people to the American electorate and pledged to make my choice from among that list. Millions of voters said this was the single most important issue to them when they voted for me for president.
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. Today…
Thank you. Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch of the United States Supreme Court to be of the United States Supreme Court. And I would like to ask Judge Gorsuch and his wonderful wife, Louise, to please step forward — please, Louise, Judge. Here they come. Here they come.
So was that a surprise? Was it?
I have always felt that after the defense of our nation, the most important decision a president of the United States can make is the appointment of a Supreme Court justice. Depending on their age, a justice can be active for 50 years and his or her decisions can last a century or more and can often be permanent.
I took the task of this nomination very seriously. I have selected an individual whose qualities define — really, and I mean closely define — what we’re looking for. 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. Also — that’s unanimous, can you believe that? Nowadays, with what’s going on?
Does that happen anymore? Does it happen? I think it’s going to happen. Maybe it will.
Also with us tonight is Maureen Scalia, a woman loved by her husband and deeply respected by all. I am so happy she’s with us. Where is Maureen? Please, stand up. Thank you, Maureen.
Thank you, Maureen. She is really the ultimate representative of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, whose image and genius was in my mind throughout the decision-making process. Not only are we looking at the writings of the nominee — and I studied them closely — but he is said to be among the finest and most brilliant oftentimes the writings of any judge for a long, long time.
And his academic credentials, something very important to me, in that education has always been a priority, are as good as I have ever seen. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia with honors. He then received his law degree from Harvard, also with honors, where he was a Truman Scholar. After Harvard, he received his doctorate at Oxford, where he attended as a Marshall Scholar, one of the top academic honors anywhere in the world.
After law school, he clerked on the Supreme Court for both Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. It is an extraordinary résumé. As good as it gets. Judge Gorsuch was born and raised in Colorado and was taught the value of independence, hard work and public service. While in law school, he demonstrated a commitment to helping the less fortunate. He worked in both Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Projects and Harvard Defenders Program. Brilliance being assured, I studied every aspect of his life. He could have had any job at any law firm for any amount of money, but what he wanted to do with his career was to be a judge, to write decisions and to make an impact by upholding our laws and our Constitution.
The qualifications of Judge Gorsuch are beyond dispute. He is the man of our country and a man who our country really needs and needs badly to ensure the rule of law and the rule of justice.
I would like to thank Senate leadership. I only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once for the good of the country.
Congratulations to you and your family. May God bless you, may God bless our glorious nation. Judge Gorsuch, the podium, sir, is yours.