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concern as well as los gatos creek. >> thank you. once again, president trump about to announce his supreme court pick live from the white house. we'll send it over now to lester holt who is leading our coverage. we'll see you later in this hour. this is an nbc news special this is an nbc news special report. here's lester holt. >> good evening. we're coming on the air in prime time. president trump is about to introduce to the nation who he will pick. high drama all day as the president and his team have ratcheted up the suspense. two names we've been hearing all day, judge neil gorsuch, judge thomas hardiman. there was some suggestion they might be in the room tonight. a sighting of either of them?
>> not at this point. the room is packed for family members, of course, of whichever contender walks out and appears in front of the media. we know that both neil gorsuch and thomas hardiman are the top twoics and there was indication from our sources that both were given the opportunity to come here tonight and to attend. but a senior administration official tells nbc news, only one is in washington. >> we'll go to the newsroom. a statement will be made here shortly. pete williams, what have you learned? >> all signs point to neil gorsuch. 49 years old. a fourth generation coloradoan. he would bray western perspective to the u.s. supreme court. we won't know for sure until we their president say it but we've heard from several people that he has decided at the last minute on neil gorsuch. >> and let's go now to chuck todd who is with me. the battle lines are drawn. it starts in a few minutes. >> it does.
this won't actually change the larger make-up of the supreme court. >> all right. and here come president trump right now in the east room of the white house. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. when justice scalia passed away last february, i made a promise to the american people. if i were elected president, i would find the very best judge in the country for the supreme court. i promised to select someone who respects our laws and is representative of our constitution and who loves our
constitution. and someone who will interpret them as written. this may be the most transparent judicial selection process in history. months ago as a candidate, i publicly presented a list of brilliant and accomplished people to the american electorate and pledged to make my choice from among that list. millions of voters said this was the single most important issue to them when they voted for me for president. i am a man of my word. i will do as i say. something that the american people have been asking for from washington for a very, very long time. today -- [ applause ]
thank you. today i am keeping another promise to the american people. by nominating judge neil gorsuch of the united states supreme court to be of the united states supreme court, and i would like to ask judge gorsuch and his wonderful wife louise to please step forward. please, louise, judge, there they come. here they come. [ applause ] so was that a surprise? was it?
i have always felt that after i have always felt that after the defense of our nation, the most important decision a president of the united states can make is the appointment of a supreme court justice. depending on their age, a judge can be active for 50 years and his or her decisions can last a century or more and can often be permanent. i took the task of this nomination very seriously. i have selected an individual whose qualities define really, and i mean closely define what we're looking for. judge gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support. when he was nominated to the tenth circuit court of appeals, he was confirmed by the senate unanimously.
also, unanimous. can you believe that? nowadays with what's going on? does that happen anymore? does it happen? i think it will happen maybe again. also with us tonight, maureen scalia. a woman loved by her husband and deeply respected by all. i am so happy she is with us. where is she? please. thank you, maureen. she is really the ultime she is the ultimate representative of the late great justice antonin scalia whose image and genius was in my mind throughout the decision making process. not only are we looking at the
writings of the nominee, and i studied them closely. but he is said to be among the finest and most brilliant, oftentimes the writings of any judge for a long, long time. and his academic credentials, something very important to me in that education has always been a priority, are as good as i have ever seen. he received his undergraduate degree from columbia with honors. he then received his law degree from harvard. also with hostages. where he was a truman scholar. after harvard he received his doctorate at oxford where he attended as a marshal scholar. one of the top academic honors anywhere in the world. after law school, he clerked on the supreme court for both justices byron white and anthony kennedy. it is an extraordinary resume. as good as it gets.
judge gorsuch was born and raised in colorado. and was taught the value of independence, hard work and public service. while in law school, he demonstrated a commitment to helping the less fortunate. he worked in both harvard prison legal assistance projects and harvard defenders program. i studied every aspect of his life. he could have had any job at any law firm for any amount of money. but what he wanted to do with his career was to be a judge, to write decisions and to make an impact by upholding our laws and our constitution. the qualifications of judge gorsuch are beyond dispute. he is the man of our country and a man who our country really needs, and needs badly to ensure the rule of law and the rule of justice. i would like to thank senate
leadership. i only hope that both democrats and republicans can come together for once, for the good of the country. congratulations to you and your family. may god bless you, may god bless our glorious nation, judge gorsuch, the podium, sir, is yours. >> thank you. mr. president, thank you very much. mr. president, mr. vice president, you and your team
have shown me great courtesy in this process. and you've entrusted me with a most solemn assignment. standing here in a house of history, and acutely aware of my own imperfections. i pledge if i am confirmed, i will do all my powers to be a faithful servant to the constitution and laws of this great country. for the last decade, i've worked as a federal judge in a court that spans six western states, serving serving about 20% of the continental united states and about 18 million people. the men and women i've worked with at every level of my circuit are an inspiration to me. i've watched them fearlessly tending to the law and living out daily their judicial oaths to administer justice equally to rich and poor alike. following the law is as they find it and without respect to their personal political beliefs. i think of them tonight.
of course the supreme court's work is vital to not just a region of the country but the whole. vital to the people's protection of liberties under law and the continuity of our constitution. the greatest charter of liberty our world has ever known. the towering judges that have served in this particular seat of the supreme court including antonin scalia and robert jackson are much in my mind at this moment. justice scalia was a lion of the lost. agree or disagree with him. all of his colleagues on the bench shared his wisdom and his humor and like them, i miss him. i began my legal career working for byron white. the last coloradoan to be on the supreme court and the only one who spoke russian. he was one of the smartest and most courageous men i've known.
when he retired he gave never chance to work for justice kennedy as well. he was incredibly welcoming and gracious and like justice white, he taught me so much. i am forever grateful. if you've ever met the judge, you'll know how lucky i was to land a clerkship with him right out of school. thank you. these judges brought me up in the law. truly, i would not be here without them. today is as much their day as it is mine. in the balance of my professional life, i've had the privilege of working as a practicing lawyer and teacher. i've enjoyed wonderful colleagues whose support means so much to me at this moment. as it has year in and year out. practicing in the trial work trenches of the law, i saw, too, when we judges don our robes, it
doesn't make us any smart he but it does serve as a reminder of what is expected of us. impartiality and independence, collegiality and courage. as this process moves to the senate, i look forward to speaking with members from both sides of the aisle. to answering their questions and to hearing their concerns. i consider the united states senate the greatest deliberative body in the world and i respect the important role the constitution affords it. i respect, too, in our legal order, it is for congress and not the courts to write new laws. it is for the judges to apply, not alter the people's representatives. a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge. stretching for results he prefers, rather than those the law demands. i am so thankful tonight for my family, my friends, and my
faith. these are the things that keep me grounded at life's peaks and have sustained me in its valleys. to louise, my incredible wife and companion of 20 years, my cherished daughters who are watching on tv, and all my family and friends, i cannot thank you enough for your love and for your prayers. i could not attempt this without you. mr. president, i am honored and i am humbled. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> a 49-year-old judge of the tenth circuit in colorado nominated to the supreme court
by president trump just a moment ago in the east room where invited guests and white house guests and staffers there to witness that moment. let's to go pete williams right now. he mentioned that antonin scalia was in his view, a lion of the court. the reports that you had on earlier. does this change anything in terms of the supreme court direction? >> no, not immediately. because gorsuch will fill the vacancy left by antonin scalia. you lose a conservative on the court and you substitute a conservative. it won't change the direction of the court. here's one thing to note. he did talk about clerking for anthony kennedy. if he is confirmed, we believe he would be the first supreme court justice in american history to serve alongside a justice for whom he once clerked. so that would be very unusual. if the name gorsuch is unusual to him, his mother ann gorsuch was appointed e. pap.a. the
administrator. >> the democrats would oppose anyone they think is out of the main stream. looking at what we know about judge gorsuch, is that an easy one for the democrats to block? >> in a normal political environment, i would say no. the antagonistic relationship that already seems to be between senate democrats and the trump white house. this should be a layup. he meets all the criteria. but i think this is going to be a noisy confirmation. it will get confirmed but it will be noisy. i have to say, i thought he made an incredible first impression and i think he will make very good one-on-one impression with a lot of the democratic senators. i think it will be much harder for them to unify and be against and force a filibuster after he spends one-on-one time with them. >> we'll be hearing a lot about judge gorsuch in the days and weeks to come and there will be coverage of this in your late local news. for our entire team, i'm lester
holt. nbc news, new york. we've just heard .... president trump just announcing his supreme cou juice nomination. good evening. we just heard president trump announcing his supreme court nomination, judge neil gorsuch will now face the challenge of being confirmed. >> a very conservative choice. i was a good friend, personal friends with justice an 9 scalia. so many people suspected it would be him. two nominees uncharacterly brought to washington, d.c. in our other top story, san francisco now first city to sue president trump aiming to pre strength president from cutting federal funding to sanctuary cities. >> the city attorney is calling on president trump to follow the constitution. is this a viable lawsuit? >> reporter: well, yeah, i think
it is. what the city attorney said was to the president, you are not an emperor. you have to abide by the rule of law. the city attorney dennis herrera flanked by the mayor and members of his staff, we have pictures as they announced this morning their lawsuit against president trump's executive order. the order to cut federal funds for so-called sanctuary cities. >> no president can commandeer the police force and turn it into an arm of the federal government. >> reporter: the report that the president's order was not only unconstitutional, it was also unamerican. but the lawyer. there is nothing on unconstitutional about what the president is trying to do. >> i can see why their upset about it. the fact of the matter is that it is a longstanding tradition in washington to condition certain types of federal funning on compliance with certain types of safety and security
regulations in the state. >> reporter: so what can the president do with an executive order? we contacted a legal scholar who said president obama tried cut finds to states who wouldn't cooperate with the affordable care act. the high court struck him down. at most the president can cut maybe 5% or 10% of federal furnlds directly related to the issue at hand. so while san francisco has 1.2 billion every year in federal funds, the amount the president could cut would be a very small fraction. reporting from city hall. nbc bay area news. >> all right. thank you. it's been another fast paced day and night from the federal level to the local level. this is sacramento where they've announced a bill that could declare california a sanctuary state. the state public safety committee approved the measure. it now moves to the state senate where democrats hold the majority. if passed, the law would pro behind state and local law enforcement agencies from
spending money to enforce federal immigration law. >> the federal government wants to enforce its immigration laws, it can do so. if it wants to enforce its criminal laws, it can and should do so. it is not our job to do that work for the federal government. >> critics fear declaration would trigger a funding cut by president trump which he has proposed. currently california gets about $100 billion annually from the feds. our coverage of president trump and his supreme court nominee gorsuch continues on "nightly news." lester holt will rejones us at 5:30. today lawyers representing the man accused of killing sierra lamar got to work, attempting to could nnvince jure didn't do it. this is where the defense made its opening statement. >> reporter: today he was the
attorney talked about compromise, evidence selection, and dna that was inconclusive. the defense attorney al lopez told jurors that the sheriff's deputies didn't follow proper protocol in collecting clothing found inside sierra lamar's backpack, hinting that they may have contaminated evidence the. a hair was later discovered in the crime lab. the defense says dna evidence does not conclusively point to garcia torres. >> if they can suggest the dna is not properly analyzed, wasn't properly collected, if it is not reliable, that completely undermines a case where there is no crime scene and there is no body. >> earlier in the day, the prosecution played a video of one of the first interviews with sheriff's deputies. the deputy d.a. wrapped up his opening statement staying only trace of sierra lamar's body was
found in the defendant's car. the prosecution called the first witness. the deputy who responded to the initial call that sierra lamar was missing. and that was nearly five years ago. now, this trial is expected to call 100 witnesses and last anywhere between four and six months. reporting live in san jose. nbc bay area news. >> just getting started. thank you. the search is underway for an inmate who escaped. he was being extradited from kentucky when he bolted from a rental car. this is where the escapee made a run for it. >> that's right. the sheriff's department said they've never seen a situation quite like this. they were they were driving the hand cuffed imagined on 8880
when he managed to get out of car is that take off running. this is the man investigators say bolted while being transported from santa rita to sfo on 880 this morning. >> the ball has fallen into our court to recapture him. >> reporter: the sheriff's deputy say he was being extradited to kentucky for violating probation on a credit card fraud conviction when he jumped out of the car on the freeway as kentucky investigators maneuvered through bay area traffic. >> at some point when the traffic was stopped, he jumped out of the back of the car and ran down the freeway hand cuffed. >> the boone county sheriff says the back doors of the rental car didn't have child safety locks. and deputies didn't put leg shackles on the inmate because of the long flight. tonight the search continues. >> the man was last seen wearing a blue checkered shirt, blue jeans and brown boots.
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we are tracking two different storms over the next seven days. the first one arriving wednesday through friday. then a second storm possible as we head into sunday night. also for monday. in advance of the storm system, we want everyone to know who lives near a creek, river or stream, you should be watching closely. >> when does the rainfall get here? mainly tomorrow morning. we will see the scattered rain wednesday night. then further developing. the first round gets here by thursday morning at 5:30. now in terms of what is ahead overall, again, rain returns wednesday night. the heaviest rain and win on thursday. the rain lingering on friday. then we'll get a break throughout saturday. we'll have more updates coming up at 6:00. we'll be back after this.
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appointed by president trump. back to lester holt. breaking news tonight, president trump has just made his pick for the u.s. supreme court and a dramatic showdown awaits. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening to our viewers in the west. it is one of the president's most impactful decisions with the ramifications being felt for generations and one that tonight just 12 days into his presidency, donald trump has made, naming his choice to replace the late antonin scalia. the nominee is neil gorsuch, 49 years old. he serves on the 10th u.s. court of app