>> President Donald Trump's pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left by the death of Antonin Scalia, Neil Gorsuch. Viewed with rapture by conservatives, who see in Gorsuch not just a kindred spirit of the conservative hero but a near perfect reflection of his views. Reuters Supreme Court correspondent Lawrence Hurley.
>> When people say that Gorsuch will be in the mold of Justice Scalia, what they mean is that he believes in the originalist kind of theory of legal interpretation, which is that you look to the original intent of the Constitution. Which means in real life, a kind of reluctance to kind of read in new rights into the Constitution that didn't exist before.
>> That could have major influence on the Court, if Gorsuch is confirmed, on social issues such as gay marriage, which the Court approved in 2015.>> They found that states can't ban gay marriage because it would violate equal protection of the laws under the Constitution. But conservatives who follow the originalist interpretation would say there's nothing in the Constitution that says you have to do this.
And so that can apply to a lot of social issues that have come up to the Court, including abortion.>> That's giving hope to anti-abortion activists who believe Gorsuch could help them overturn Roe versus Wade, the landmark 1973 case that made abortion legal. Especially if the Court's swing vote on social issues, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who Gorsuch once clerked for, were to retire while Donald Trump is President.
>> They really don't have the votes right now to do that because the Court, even with Gorsuch, on abortion is 5 to 4 in favor of protecting the basic right to an abortion. Because Kennedy, who's a conservative who sometimes sides with the liberals, has ruled in favor of abortion rights.
But in the future if there's another opening, then that could come into play.>> Democrats vowing to fight the nomination, but facing an uphill battle with Republicans in full control of Congress.