During Tuesday night’s White House announcement about the future of the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump took a moment to honor the past.
On the evening in which he announced he was nominating respected conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by the death of former Justice Antonin Scalia, Trump had invited Scalia’s widow to attend the announcement.
“With us tonight is Maureen Scalia, a woman loved by her husband and deeply respected by all. I am so happy she is with us,” said Trump, who asked her to stand.
The assembled guests gave her a round of applause.
“Thank you, Maureen. She’s really the ultimate representative of the late great Justice Antonin Scalia, whose image and genius was in my mind throughout the decision-making process,” Trump said.
Twitter hailed Trump’s gesture of including Scalia’s widow in the ceremony.
— Belladonna Rogers (@BeladonnaRogers) February 1, 2017
— Desiree (@DesireeAaron) February 1, 2017
— Hardline Stance (@Hardline_Stance) February 1, 2017
After the announcement, Maureen Scalia met briefly with Gorsuch.
— Kevin Daley (@KevinDaleyDC) February 1, 2017
Gorsuch was an admirer of Scalia, who he described Tuesday as “a lion of the law.”
Gorsuch was on a ski trip last February when he received word of Scalia’s death. He told an audience at Case Western Reserve School of Law last year that when he heard the news, “I immediately lost what breath I had left, and I am not embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t see the rest of the way down the mountain for the tears.”
Trump’s selection of Gorsuch was roundly praised. Writing in the National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru called Gorsuch “a well-respected conservative whose legal philosophy is remarkably similar to that of Antonin Scalia, the justice he will replace if the Senate confirms him.”
“He is, like Scalia, a textualist and an originalist: someone who interprets legal provisions as their words were originally understood,” Ponnuru wrote.
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