President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated federal appellate judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
Gorsuch is considered a constitutional conservative. At 49 years old, if confirmed he could influence the direction of the Supreme Court for decades on issues ranging from gun control to abortion.
Democrats, incensed by the Republican refusal to consider former President Barack Obama's choice for the vacancy have promised to fight Gorsuch's confirmation.
The Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, indicated his party would mount a procedural hurdle requiring 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate rather than a simple majority to approve Gorsuch. Republicans hold 52 Senate seats.
The Democrats on Tuesday also continued to fight a rearguard action to slow the appointment of several of the president's nominees for Cabinet. Democrats said they had a responsibility to thoroughly vet Trump's picks. Republicans accused them of unreasonably delaying the process.
TRT World's Tetiana Anderson has more on Gorsuch and on the latest developments in Washington DC.