By Andrew Chung
(Reuters) – Federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court pick of President Donald Trump, is a conservative intellectual known for backing religious rights and seen as very much in the mold of Antonin Scalia, the justice he was chosen to replace.
Gorsuch, who has not shied away from needling liberals on occasion, is 49 and could influence the high court for decades to come in the lifetime post, if confirmed by the Republican-led Senate. He is the youngest Supreme Court nominee since Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1991 picked Clarence Thomas, who was 43 at the time.
He currently serves as a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, the city where he was born. He was appointed to that post in 2006 by Republican President George W. Bush.
Gorsuch, who is white, adds little diversity to the court…
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