Last night, Donald Trump announced that he’d be nominating federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Here’s a few things you need to know about Gorsuch:
1. Liberals Hate Him.
Judge Gorsuch voted twice to deny contraceptive coverage to women, elevating a corporation’s religious beliefs over women’s health care.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 1, 2017
IDK Dianne, it seems like as a judge, he examined the law in question and, putting aside personal preferences, determined that it didn’t meet the standard laid out by Congress under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. You know, like he’s supposed to do.
The 22nd century books chronicling the Roberts Court will read much like 21st century books chronicling the separate-but-equal era.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) February 1, 2017
Racist! Sexist! Mysoginist! Patriarchy! Loud noises!!!!
Weird that most constitutional originalists seem to be white male landowners
— Erin ????Gloria???? Ryan (@morninggloria) February 1, 2017
White male landowners? What century is this. We’re nto going to take a deep dive on this one, but Antonin Scalia, the champion of Originalism, was born to a Sicilian immigrant and a schoolteacher in Trenton, New Jersey. Samuel Alito’s bio is not that different. Clarence Thomas was raised in abject poverty by his grandparents and a single mother. He’s also, you know, kinda not white. Conservative favorite Alex Kosinski is the son of Holocaust survivors who fled Romania seeking refuge in the United States.
If you’re opposed to privilege and committed to equality, wouldn’t it be better to appoint people whose approach is to strictly interpret a colorblind document that guarantees equal justice to all under the law?
2. He was a great admirer and friend of Justice Scalia
As CNN Notes:
“Justice Scalia was a lion of the law,” Gorsuch said at the White House. “I miss him.”
Gorsuch was on a ski trip last winter when he learned of the 79-year-old’s death.
As he told an audience at Case Western Reserve School of Law last February, “I immediately lost what breath I had left, and I am not embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t see the rest of the way down the mountain for the tears.” He went on to describe Scalia’s monumental impact on constitutional law, noting that he was “docile in private life but a ferocious fighter when at work, with a roar that could echo for miles.”
The two jurists enjoyed a fly-fishing trip in Colorado as is captured by a picture of their suntanned faces. “Fond memories of a day on the Colorado, with warm regards,” Scalia inscribed the photo.
3. He was a classmate of Barack Obama at Harvard Law School.
We won’t hold that against him. You get into Harvard Law School, you go to Harvard Law School.
4. His liberal students and colleagues love him
As the Daily Camera notes:
He is widely respected among his disproportionately liberal peers, colleagues and students in Boulder, who describe him as brilliant, thoughtful and charming.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, a Democrat, called Gorsuch “very ethical” and “very smart.”
“I found him to be a person of character and quality, intellectually curious and willing to debate all sides,” offered Jordan Henry, a CU Law student and staunch liberal. “I think he’s dedicated to the truth, to justice, to the justice system.
“I may not always agree with him but I do think he gives all voices a fair hearing, and that’s all you can ask of a judge.”
5. He would be the only Protestant on the Supreme Court
As an Episcopalian, Gorsuch would be the first Protestant appointed in 26 years. Justice Thomas converted to Catholicism after his appointment, and the Supreme Court currently consists of 5 Catholics and 3 Jews.
6. He’s committed to religious liberty
The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case upheld Gorsuch’s lower court ruling.
7. He’s a strong critic of big government
What separates Gorsuch from Scalia is that he’s a strong critic of the Chevron Doctrine, a modern judicial invention that gives broad deference to the red tape regulatory state that’s currently crippling America.