Neil McGill Gorsuch is the son of Anne, who broke the glass ceiling as the first female head of the EPA, as part of the Reagan administration, but she was forced to resign under a cloud surrounding mishandling of Superfund monies. While in office she cut the EPA's budget by 22% and effectively tried to close the department.

What’s his background?

Neil attended the Jesuit-run Georgetown Prep School, took a BA from Columbia University where he wrote for the student newspaper, graduated Harvard Law School in 1991 and holds a PhD in Philosophy in Law from University College, Oxford.

If he is confirmed, all nine of the Supreme court’s Justices will have attended either Yale or Harvard Law Schools, keeping the Supreme Court strictly an Ivy League club. As the youngest person on the Court he would, at age 49, be the first Justice to have grown up in the computer age and would probably remain on the Court for decades.

What he believes.

Working at a DC law firm Gorsuch wrote a brief saying that class action lawsuits by shareholders are wrong, and damaging to the economy in general.

Ironically, in 2002 Gorsuch also wrote an op-ed taking the US Senate to task for delaying the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Court of Appeals. His post today is open only because the Republican controlled Senate delayed the same Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama by nearly a year.

Judge Gorsuch has written that giving money to politicians is a “fundamental right,” so he won’t support attempts to overturn the massive imbalance in today’s election system where corporations are treated as citizens and can spend any amount of money on an election.

(Note: due to some quirks of the US election laws and the ethics rules established by the same people who are accepting large campaign contributions, these are not considered bribes.

Foreigners seldom understand this, nor do most Americans. Precisely when a campaign contribution becomes a bribe is a very vague area in the law. That, along with rulings about Presidential conflicts of interest are two legal questions which many are hoping will be settled by The Supreme Court.)

Neil Gorsuch is pro death penalty, anti-abortion, and is against assisted suicide.

(Some liberals have restated that standard conservative line as "anti-life, anti-choice, and pro prolonged suffering.)

Although personally anti-abortion, Judge Gorsuch has also written that he respects and supports court traditions, which some interpret as meaning he considers rulings such as Roe vs. Wade as settled law.

Personal life

Neil Gorsuch would be described as an outdoorsman and his hobby is fly fishing, but he also skies, and raises horses, chickens, and goats.

In another bit of irony, Boulder, Colorado owns a 100+ acre site, Valmont Butte, which is still contaminated with radioactive waste - failure to clean it up was part of the scandal which Judge Gorsuch's mother was involved in at the EPA so it may serve as a daily reminder to him, but of just what isn't clear.

He and his wife Louise live in Boulder, Colorado with their two teenage daughters, Emma and Belinda.

The conservative National Review magazine called him a worthy successor to Justice Scalia.

If he takes a seat at the bench Judge Gorsuch's conservative leanings would not alter the basic nature of the court since he is replacing another strong conservative voice, the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Gorsuch is currently on the 10th Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals based in Boulder, Colorado.