Local professor weighs in on Supreme Court nominee, what it could mean for Hoosiers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indiana University professor says the President's pick for the Supreme Court is not surprising, and it's unlikely to have a major impact on Indiana anytime soon.

President Donald Trump introduced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his choice for Antonin Scalia's vacant seat on Tuesday night.

Gorsuch, a staunch conservative from Colorado, had been considered the front runner for the job.

Indiana University McKinney School of Law Professor David Orentlicher said Gorsuch's nomination was expected and seemed like a safe pick.

"In a lot of ways he fits the mold," Orentlicher said. "It seems he would fit where Justice Scalia was, maybe even a little right to Justice Scalia."

Orentlicher said he has noticed that the general public seems more interested in the future of the Supreme Court than in previous years.

"Historically it hasn’t been a big factor, the public worries about the economy and other issues more than the Supreme Court. This one may be different because of the fact that the seat has been empty for so long," Oretlicher said.

For that reason, it's also likely that Gorsuch's nomination will cause controversy and could face heavy opposition from Democrats who wanted President Obama's pick of Merrick Garland to be nominated before the election.

Orentlicher said that Gorsuch was likely the winner in part because he is articulate and charming, allowing him to stand up under a potentially grueling nomination process.

"Gorsuch is viewed, I think, as somebody who might be able to bring others along to his view and be writing more majority opinions and fewer dissenting opinions," Orentlicher said.

However, Orentlicher said Gorsuch's appointment would not sway the court in a way that could overturn landmark decisions like Roe v. Wade, given that he's a conservative filling an already-conservative seat on the court.

"All this is going to do is restore where we were before Justice Scalia died, where we were for many years," Orentlicher said.