Neil Gorsuch was nominated by Donald Trump
The 49-year-old conservative is the youngest pick for more than a quarter of a century and his appointment is expected to shape the court’s rulings for years to come.
Mr Gorsuch’s nomination is yet to be ratified by the Senate and the Democrats have promised to fight against the appointment.
Donald Trump said: "Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous disciple, and has earned bipartisan support.
"Depending on their age, a justice can be active for 50 years. And his or her decisions can last a century or more, and can often be permanent.”
The Republican is considered an originalist – meaning he is committed to understanding the constitutions’s meaning as it was originally intended.
Neil Gorsuch is expected to restore the conservative edge to the Supreme Court
Trump’s nominee – should the Senate vote in favour of Gorsuch – would return the court to nine justice following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
Gorsuch would tip the balance in favour of right-wingers by 5-4 judges in America’s highest court and could prove pivotal on issues such as abortion, voting rights, religious equality, the death penalty and gun regulation.
Despite the Republicans having a 52-48 seat advantage in the Senate, the Democrats have promised to filibuster Gorsuch’s nomination which would mean Trump’s nominee would need 60 votes in favour.
History of a special relationship: Presidents and Prime Ministers together
Wed, January 25, 2017
Ahead of the meeting between Theresa May and Donald Trump, a look back at the close ties between the U.S. and Britain.
1 of 18
Margaret Thatcher shares a joke with Ronald Reagan, at No. 10 Downing Street
Gorsuch is considered an originalist
Conservative groups are expected to defend Trump’s nominee, with the Judicial Crisis Network promised to spend nearly £8million ($10million) in television advertising to support Gorsuch.
Liberal groups including People For the American Way and abortion rights advocate NARAL Pro-Choice America have planned nighttime protests against Trump’s nomination.