(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

WASHINGTON (REUTERS, AFP) –  President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Jan 31) announced conservative US appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch as his selection to fill a Supreme Court seat that has been vacant for almost a year, in a move that would reinstate the court’s conservative majority.

The 49-year-old, a respected appellate court judge from Colorado, will replace Judge Antonin Scalia, a leading conservative voice on the court who died last February.

The nomination still requires Senate confirmation. Democrats, still fuming over the Republican-led Senate’s refusal to act on former President Barack Obama’s nominee last year, are prepared to put up a fight. Some Democrats have vowed to do everything in their power to block confirmation.

A Supreme Court justice can have influence for decades after the president who made the appointment has left office. Mr Trump’s appointee could be instrumental in cases involving abortion, gun, religious and transgender rights, the death penalty, presidential powers, environmental regulation and other contentious matters.

(This story is developing)

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