President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee met the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s widow as Trump announced his nomination Tuesday.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer shared a photo of Judge Neil Gorsuch holding hands with Maureen Scalia, alongside her son Paul, that evening after the announcement.
Antonin Scalia died nearly a year ago, triggering a battle in the Senate over his replacement.
“Also with us tonight is Maureen Scalia, a woman loved by her husband and deeply respected by all,” he said, introducing her to a standing ovation as she rose from her chair.
“She is really the ultimate representation of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, whose image and genius was in my mind throughout the decision-making process.”
Trump repeatedly promised during his 2016 presidential bid that he would nominate a staunch conservative like Scalia to the Supreme Court.
Gorsuch, a well-respected conservative who sits on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, now heads to what is likely an uphill confirmation battle.
Senate Democrats remain bitter about last year’s GOP efforts to stonewall Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
Republicans currently have 52 seats in the Senate, meaning they need eight Democratic votes to be able to overcome a filibuster.