— -- ABC News has learned that Judge Neil Gorsuch has emerged as the leading contender to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and his nomination is expected as early as next week, according to sources familiar with the selection process.
He is a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, to which he was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2006 and confirmed by voice vote. Gorsuch, 49, would be the youngest Supreme Court nominee in about 25 years.
He clerked for Judge David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch attended Harvard Law and has a Ph.D. from Oxford, where he was a Marshall scholar. In legal circles, he’s considered a gifted writer. Like Scalia, he is a textualist and an originalist.