Although Pres­ident Donald Trump has selected Judge Neil Gorsuch for the open U.S. Supreme Court seat, John Malcolm said Sat­urday Gorsuch’s appointment will not make a large dif­ference yet.

“It is important to remember that the Gorsuch appointment is not likely to fun­da­men­tally change the balance of power on the court,” Malcolm said.

Malcolm, director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Her­itage Foun­dation, addressed more than 150 people at Hillsdale College, including Michigan Supreme Court Justice Brian Zahra and Judge Kurt Wilder of the Michigan Court of Appeals, for the founding of the of the Hillsdale Fed­er­alist Society.

“As a first event for the Fed­er­alist Society we were extremely happy with the atten­dance, and we think this is a great starting point for future events,” said junior Adrienne Carrier, a Fed­er­alist Society officer.

The organization’s goal is to teach the fun­da­mentals of what a free society needs in the legal world, said junior Jacob Weaver, a Fed­er­alist Society officer.

In his pre­sen­tation, Malcolm said if Judge Neil Gorsuch is con­firmed, it will only bring the balance of power on the Supreme Court back to what it was before Justice Antonin Scalia died in Feb­ruary 2016. Both Gorsuch and Scalia had similar approaches to inter­preting the law.

“[The Con­sti­tution] isn’t some inkblot on which lit­i­gants may project their hopes and dreams…but a care­fully drafted text judges are charged with applying according to its original public meaning,” Malcolm quoted from Gorsuch.

Many also hope that Gorsuch will follow in Scalia’s foot­steps on issues like abortion, Malcolm said.

The two, however, differ on admin­is­trative law, Malcolm said. While Scalia believed that courts should defer to exec­utive agencies when inter­preting ambiguous laws, Gorsuch believes such def­erence is an abdi­cation of a judge’s duty to interpret the law and give the exec­utive bureau­cracy both leg­islative and judicial power, Malcolm said.

Stu­dents said they are hopeful for what Gorsuch would bring to America’s highest court.

“It was really helpful to hear about Gorsuch from someone familiar with him,” said Lynette Grundvig, a Van Andel Graduate School of States­manship student. “It makes me feel more con­fident about the future of the Supreme Court.”

Malcolm reminded the audience that the Senate has not yet con­firmed Gorsuch and the Democrats will likely fil­i­buster.

But 10 Senate Democrats are up for re-election in states that Trump carried, and 12 Democrats voted in 2006 to confirm Gorsuch to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Malcolm said. This will make it dif­ficult for them to oppose Gorsuch’s con­fir­mation to the Supreme Court.

Although the Gorsuch appointment will not pro­foundly alter the balance of power on the court, a future opening could, Malcolm said.