President Trump’s new Supreme Court pick has already stirred up backlash from liberals, to include the threat of a filibuster.
At 8 p.m. on Tuesday, President Trump announced that Neil Gorsuch was his choice to fill the seat left behind by the late Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch, a staunch Republican, has received praise from Senate Republicans while being jeered, not surprisingly, by Senate Democrats. On Twitter, Senators from both parties sounded off to express their opinions on the pick.
Most Senate Republicans applauded:
Judge Gorsuch is a worthy successor to Justice Scalia, a committed originalist and a strong defender of religious liberty and states’ rights
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 1, 2017
Judge Gorsuch is a prepared, thoughtful, and careful jurist, who has demonstrated a strong commitment to textualism and originalism.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) February 1, 2017
However, Senate Democrats wasted no time with their backlash.
SCOTUS justice must stand up to a Pres willing to bend the Constitution. Serious doubts on Judge Gorsuch’s ability to meet this standard.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 1, 2017
The #SupremeCourt must be a fair arbiter of the law—not simply another political body making decisions based on ideology or partisanship.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 1, 2017
Who is Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?
Gorsuch, the youngest SCOTUS nominee in 25 years, was the son of Anne Gorsuch Buford, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency under President Reagan from 1981 to 1983. His mother was a states’ rights proponent, and began to adopt Republican ideals as a teenager.
Gorsuch attended Columbia University, where he wrote articles for the Columbia Daily Spectator and formed an alternative newspaper called The Fed. He also attended Harvard Law School in 1991 and received his Doctorate in Legal Philosophy from Oxford.
Gorsuch spent the next 15 years in Washington, D.C. and Colorado undertaking various duties. He clerked for Judge David Sentelle on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and for Justices Bryon White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch was also an associate and a partner for a D.C. based law-firm, and was Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General in 2005.
In May of 2006, Gorsuch was appointed by then-President George W. Bush to serve as Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. He was confirmed by voice vote in July of the same year.
In his time as U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, Gorsuch wrote several op-ed pieces and ruled on several issues as well. Here are just a few to note:
Contraceptive Mandate of ObamaCare:
In 2012, the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby stores, Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in a 5-3 ruling that the company could reject a mandate ordered by Obamacare that would have forced the retail chain to provide health insurance that covered contraceptives.
Gorsuch agreed that the mandate was a violation of the chain’s religious beliefs and that the mandate should not apply to businesses who religiously reject the idea of contraceptives. The ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014 by a 5-4 vote.
While Gorsuch has not been vocal about Roe v. Wade or abortion in general, his past rulings have revealed a tendency to be anti-abortion.
In Planned Parenthood (Utah) v. Gov. Gary Herbert, Gorsuch supported the Governor’s actions to defund Planned Parenthood and denied a re-hearing of the case.
Gorsuch has been praised by anti-abortion coalitions and groups for his position.
In 1992, Gorsuch co-authored an op-ed suggesting that there should be term limits for those in the House and the Senate, State or Federal, stating:
“Recognizing that men are not angels, the Framers of the Constitution put in place a number of institutional checks designed to prevent abuse of the enormous powers they had vested in the Legislative Branch. Bicameralism, frequent elections, staggered terms, differing qualifications, shared and exclusive powers, and state control over election procedures are all examples of the mechanisms the Framers crafted with the hope of ensuring a responsive yet responsible legislature. A term limit, we suggest, is simply an analogous procedure designed to advance much the same substantive end.”
Gorsuch has also stated his opinions on the following:
- Opponent of Assisted Suicide
- Opponent of the “Administrative Deference Doctrine” in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council
- Proponent of the 4th Amendment reach as well as police privileges and rights in several cases, Especially US v Rochin; US v. Rodriguez; and US v Denson
- Supports the death penalty
Gorsuch’s history is certain to excite conservatives, while it is sure to send liberals into a fit of rage. Nevertheless, with Gorsuch labeled as a “textualist and originalist” by many organizations, his inclusion in the Supreme Court would be beneficial to the nation as a whole in light of President Obama’s nominations of two “activist” judges.
The Supreme Court needs justices that honor precedent and the original meaning, and intent, of the Constitution– not what a justice feels is right (we’re looking at you, Justice Sotomayor).