US President Donald Trump has chosen Neil Gorsuch of Denver as his Supreme Court nominee.

Congressional leaders, White House staff and President Donald Trump's family members gathered in the East Room for his Supreme Court announcement.

The event drew top congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump's former rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Trump's oldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, were also on-hand.

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Meet Neil Gorsuch, Trump's pick for the Supreme Court

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Judge Neil Gorsuch. Photo / AP
Judge Neil Gorsuch. Photo / AP
Trump announces Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee. Photo / AP
Trump announces Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee. Photo / AP

Gorsuch was one of two Trump finalists the other federal appeals court judge being Thomas Hardiman of Pittsburgh.

Gorsuch, 49, will in all likelihood restore the ideological balance that existed before Justice Antonin Scalia's death on February 13, 2016, left a vacancy that has yet to be filled. He is a Republican appointee with a decade-long record on the federal bench.

Gorsuch is a champion of religious liberty known for his crisp, occasionally pointed writing style. He has faulted liberals for an "overweening addiction to the courtroom" and last year hailed Scalia as a "lion of the law".

Gorsuch has served on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver since 2006, after being appointed by President George W. Bush. He once worked at the Supreme Court as a law clerk.

If approved by the Senate, Gorsuch would take the seat left vacant since Scalia died last year. Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama's nominee for the seat, saying the choice should go Obama's successor.

He would be the youngest justice since Clarence Thomas joined the court in 1991 at age 43.

A study led by Mercer University law professor Jeremy Kidd concluded that Gorsuch is the second-most similar to Scalia of the 21 prospective justices on a list Trump released during the campaign.

Donald Trump Jr, left, and Eric Trump, son's of President Donald Trump wait in the East Room of the White House in Washington during the announcement. Photo / AP
Donald Trump Jr, left, and Eric Trump, son's of President Donald Trump wait in the East Room of the White House in Washington during the announcement. Photo / AP

Gorsuch is a fourth-generation Coloradan who earned his undergraduate degree at Columbia, his law degree at Harvard and a doctorate in legal philosophy at Oxford.

The nomination could be one of several for Trump. Three other justices - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer - are at least 78.

- Bloomberg, AP