Last night President Donald Trump nominated Federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court last night, hoping to fill the seat left open when Justice Antonin Scalia mysteriously died last year. Unlike many of Trump’s other nominees, Gorsuch is receiving rave reviews for his commitment to protecting the United States constitution, and for being an “heir to Scalia” — in that his legal beliefs closely match those of the late justice. Yahoo.com says, “A brilliant conservative judge with a prestigious resume, Neil Gorsuch is a proponent of traditional so-called family values, a strict reading of the Constitution and the need to protect the role of religion in American society.”
Yahoo adds, “Like Scalia, Gorsuch favors what is known as originalism — the idea that judges should interpret the US Constitution by reverting to how it was understood at the time it was written, with no modern filters. it’s no surprise that he was backed by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which both work behind the scenes to see a conservative evolution of US law.”
He is a Harvard Law graduate — graduating the same year as former president Barack Obama did. As well, he was once a law clerk to sitting Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. If confirmed, it will be the first time a former employee of a Justice rose up to become a sitting judge next to his former boss. The National Review writes, “Gorsuch’s tie to Justice Kennedy, frequently a swing vote on the Supreme Court, may also be an asset. If Gorsuch can persuade Kennedy to join an opinion, a narrow loss for the conservative position could become a narrow win. There is also the possibility that Gorsuch’s presence would reassure Kennedy about the direction of the Court and make him more willing to let Trump name his own replacement.”
Gorsuch is a firm conservative, and has achieved some fame already for defending conservatives in court against liberals. According to Reuters, “In 2013, Gorsuch played a role in a high-profile ruling involving arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, allowing owners of private companies to object on religious grounds to an Obamacare provision requiring employers to provide health insurance covering birth control for women. The decision, later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, said the provision violated a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In a concurrence, Gorsuch expressed sympathy for the choice faced by the evangelical Christian owners of the company “between exercising their faith or saving their business.””
While he may become the next Supreme Court justice, it certainly won’t be without being subjected to scrutiny by Democrat Senators. It certainly won’t be as easy as it was when George W. Bush appointed him to the Federal Court of Appeals. Still, it looks like Trump has selected a candidate likely to win over many doubters, and bring joy to his base.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!