President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and a few family members prayed with Judge Neil Gorsuch before his nomination this week to the nation's highest court, along with Maureen Scalia, and Fr. Paul Scalia, the wife and son of the deceased conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch attends an Episcopal church and cited his faith in his nomination speech.
Trump tweeted a photo of the group with their heads bowed.
Some conservatives and Christians reportedly praised Trump's nomination of Gorsuch, 49, who is a Constitutional originalist and will, they believe, uphold conservative values, reports Christian Headlines.
CBN News spoke with the Rev. Franklin Graham about Gorsuch's nomination to the Court. Graham, who wasn't officially a supporter of Trump throughout the 2016 election cycle, strongly encouraged people to vote for a candidate who would appoint a conservative Supreme Court justice.
"This election is not about anything else than, it's about the Supreme Court and who do you trust to nominate the next justice. And this man, certainly for all of us Christians, we are very thankful that President Trump nominated him because he will protect religious liberty and that's what, for me, that's what I'm very concerned about is religious liberty," Graham said.
Graham called Gorsuch a true conservative and a great addition to the high court.
Gorsuch clerked for two Supreme Court justices and worked in President George W. Bush's Justice Department before being appointed to the federal bench and authoring a series of sharply written, conservative opinions, reports Yahoo News. His mother, Anne, ran President Ronald Reagan's Environmental Protection Agency.
The nominee also allegedly won praise among liberals and others in the Colorado legal community for his fair-mindedness and defense of the underdog.
Gorsuch is a Colorado native who earned his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in three years, then earned a law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White, a fellow Coloradan, and Anthony Kennedy before earning a philosophy degree at Oxford University and working for a prominent Washington, D.C., law firm.
He served for two years in Bush's Justice Department before Bush appointed him to a seat on the 10th Circuit in 2006.
Gorsuch has contended courts give too much deference to government agencies' interpretations of statutes, a deference that stems from a Supreme Court ruling in a 1984 case. More recently, he sided with two groups that successfully challenged the Obama administration's requirements that employers provide health insurance that includes contraception.
Gorsuch summed up his minimalist judicial philosophy and focus on impartial judgment Tuesday evening: "A judge who reaches every outcome he wishes is likely a very bad judge," he said after Trump introduced him from the East Room of the White House in a primetime televised address.
He is an avid skier, fly fisherman, hunter and horseback rider. In his financial disclosure report for 2015, he reported assets ranging from $3.1 million to $7.25 million. He earned $26,000 for his law school duties and another $5,300 in book royalties that year.
Gorsuch has ruled consistently in favor of religious rights, reports Forbes, joining the Hobby Lobby decision later affirmed by the Supreme Court allowing religious employers to avoid paying for contraceptives. In a case involving a Native American prisoner he stated Congress has made it clear judges "lack any license to decide the relative value of a particular exercise to a religion."