Breaking: Trump Chooses Gorsuch for SCOTUS

 

President Donald Trump has selected Neil M. Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. He made the announcement in a live, televised event from the White House that began at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Gorsuch prevailed over the other finalists, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, and William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, and was easily confirmed by the Senate 10 years ago to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Colorado.

In the announcement, Trump said, “Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support…. I only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once, for the good of the country.”

At National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru praised the pick as a worth heir to Scalia.

He is, like Scalia, a textualist and an originalist: someone who interprets legal provisions as their words were originally understood.

Gorsuch is a Colorado native and the son of a Republican politician, the late Anne Gorsuch Burford, who was a state legislator and then director of the Environmental Protection Agency for President Reagan. He attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School, after which he clerked for D.C. Circuit Court judge David Sentelle. He then clerked for Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy in 1993–94. The next year he studied for a doctorate of philosophy at Oxford University under the legal philosopher John Finnis. After spending ten years at a law firm in Washington, D.C., Gorsuch went to work for the Justice Department in 2005–06. President George W. Bush nominated him to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. His confirmation was quick and uncontroversial.

At SCOTUSblog, Andrew Hamm outlines his qualifications.

If Trump does nominate Gorsuch, the judge’s 49 years would make him – despite his gray hair – among the youngest of recent Supreme Court nominees (Justice Clarence Thomas was 43 when nominated, and Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Elena Kagan were both 50.). In the early 1980s, when Scalia was beginning his judicial career, Gorsuch was just beginning to assemble the glittering résumé that may have him at the cusp of an appointment to the court. President Ronald Reagan’s choice of Gorsuch’s mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, to head the Environmental Protection Agency in 1981 brought the Denver teenager to Washington, where he attended Bethesda’s Georgetown Preparatory School and won a national debate championship. Gorsuch completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, where he co-founded a student newspaper that gave voice to conservative viewpoints, and his law degree at Harvard Law School, which he attended on a Truman Scholarship…

Legal ethics and judicial standards seem to be of particular interest to Gorsuch, and, judging by his comments in his speech about Scalia, he takes seriously the fact that judges swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. Gorsuch has also modeled judicial conduct off the bench. For instance, when he gave the 2013 keynote address at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention in Washington, Gorsuch did not follow the pattern of past speakers (including sitting judges) by giving a “rabble-rousing speech” in the hopes of advancing their visibility and careers, according to one Federalist Society member. Instead, Gorsuch spoke more dryly about “law’s irony,” which both constrains and guarantees our freedom. When asked about the choice of topics by Richard Samp of the Washington Legal Foundation, Gorsuch said he felt constrained by the code of judicial conduct not to discuss anything controversial.

Hart suggests that Gorsuch is available, open and sociable “because he’s from Colorado.” And Gorsuch does love the state. He’s an avid fly fisher who enjoys being outdoors. With his wife, Louise, Gorsuch raises horses, chickens and goats, and often arranges ski trips with old friends and new associates from his former law firm. However, [Melissa Hart, a law professor at the University of Colorado] adds, she thinks Gorsuch would be willing to move back to Washington, “for the right job.” If Gorsuch does join the bench, she expects she will disagree with many of his rulings, but predicts he has the “smarts and intellectual seriousness” to become a “shaper of the court.”

The nomination is also getting support from unexpected places. Neal Katyal, former Solicitor General under President Obama, said:

“Judge Gorsuch is one of the most thoughtful and brilliant judges to have served our nation over the last century. As a judge, he has always put aside his personal views to serve the rule of law. To boot, as those of us who have worked with him can attest, he is a wonderfully decent and humane person. I strongly support his nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Published in Law, Politics
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  1. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Whatever happened to the horrible liberal that Trump was supposed to name? Great pick, Trump!

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    This is a big reason I felt we needed to be sure Hillary was not elected.

    So far Trump is keeping every promise he made.

    He really isn’t a politician, is he?

    • #2
  3. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    • #3
  4. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Tom Meyer, Ed. (View Comment):

    Yes, you were. But at least you admit it. Stick around, Tom. I still have much to teach you.

    • #4
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Tom Meyer, Ed. (View Comment):

    Way to step up big guy.

    • #5
  6. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    Winning!

    • #6
  7. Wiley Inactive
    Wiley
    @Wiley

    • #7
  8. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    So much winning.

    • #8
  9. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    DocJay (View Comment):
    So much winning.

    Next comes the whining.

    • #9
  10. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Well done, President Trump!

    • #10
  11. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Absolutely wonderful!

    • #11
  12. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    I had zero doubt from the moment he was sure to be nominated  that a president Trump would give us someone who was mostly conservative and unquestionably pro second amendment.

    It was interesting to see counter arguments when I knew they would be proven wrong.  It was interesting to give arguments and have them sort of refuted, often vociferously.

    • #12
  13. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):
    Well done, President Trump!

    Hear Hear!

    • #13
  14. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Lets play the adjective game. What is the MSM/DNC (but I repeat myself) going to say?

    Extremist? Obviously

    Arch-Conservative? Haven’t heard that one in a while.

    Out of the Mainstream? Definately

    Anti-Woman? Probably, somehow. Maybe just anti-abortion would cover it.

    Christian Conservative? I dunno if he is such a thing. Doesn’t matter. They’ll say it.

    • #14
  15. B. Hugh Mann Inactive
    B. Hugh Mann
    @BHughMann

    Delightful to see Mrs. Scalia honored too.

    • #15
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    McConnell should not let any grass grow under this nomination. Get the hearing going — there is no legitimate complaint about Gorsuch. And do not tolerate smear tactics and delay. Kiss filibuster goodbye and get on with the business of the Court.

    • #16
  17. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Its happening everybody.

    Trigger warning:  Potty Mouth

    Trump can even make 15 year old memes great again.

    • #17
  18. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    DocJay (View Comment):
    I had zero doubt from the moment he was sure to be nominated that a president Trump would give us someone who was mostly conservative and unquestionably pro second amendment.

    It was interesting to see counter arguments when I knew they would be proven wrong. It was interesting to give arguments and have them sort of refuted, often vociferously.

    These were not really counter arguments. They were counter feelings. No evidence was ever given in support of the feeling that he would govern as a flaming liberal. It was exasperating at the time to try to debate rationally when all I could say was “you’re wrong, just wait.” Now, I’d just like to see some humility from Trump critics.

    • #18
  19. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    So much winning!  Congratulations to a steadfast President Trump.

     

    • #19
  20. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Winning from here to the end of the decade!

    • #20
  21. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):
    Lets play the adjective game. What is the MSM/DNC (but I repeat myself) going to say?

    Extremist? Obviously

    Arch-Conservative? Haven’t heard that one in a while.

    Out of the Mainstream? Definately

    Anti-Woman? Probably, somehow. Maybe just anti-abortion would cover it.

    Christian Conservative? I dunno if he is such a thing. Doesn’t matter. They’ll say it.

    Hitler on the bench.  Or Satan.  Or Ted Bundy.  Doesn’t matter.  Go nuclear after the first go round fails.

    • #21
  22. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):

    We have two mature editors here in this thread and they are  quite happy.  I’m proud to be a member here.

    • #22
  23. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    EDs,

    The resume looks as solid as you could possibly imagine. Top law school, top clerking jobs, additional well-roundedness with a PhD in legal philosophy from a top man in the field. Ten years experience in a DC law firm. Twelve years experience on the Federal Bench. He is the son of a female politician so I can’t imagine him to be insensitive to women. A very strong conservative that doesn’t need to be demonstrative.

    We must now face the deranged Democrats who will do anything and say anything to grasp after power. The court can either be stabilized by a nominee of this quality or descend into the chaos of hopeless left-wing solipsism.

    Time for winning.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #23
  24. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    I had zero doubt from the moment he was sure to be nominated that a president Trump would give us someone who was mostly conservative and unquestionably pro second amendment.

    It was interesting to see counter arguments when I knew they would be proven wrong. It was interesting to give arguments and have them sort of refuted, often vociferously.

    These were not really counter arguments. They were counter feelings. No evidence was ever given in support of the feeling that he would govern as a flaming liberal. It was exasperating at the time to try to debate rationally when all I could say was “you’re wrong, just wait.” Now, I’d just like to see some humility from Trump critics.

    Enjoy the moment.  But setting up straw men like “govern as a flaming liberal” isn’t likely to bring humility in return.  On the issue of the moment, I can’t think of a single argument here that suggested that a Trump SCOTUS pick wouldn’t be well preferable to a Clinton pick.  And after he released his lists, which were praised by Trump fans and critics alike, it became obvious that he’d appoint a conservative.

    I’m cranky tonight BTW.

     

    • #24
  25. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    As the only Episcopalian on the court, he will bring a bit of diversity!

    So much winning…..

    • #25
  26. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Good.

    Now, lets hope for someone even better after after the 2018 Senate elections.

    • #26
  27. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    DocJay (View Comment):

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):

    We have two mature editors here in this thread and they are quite happy. I’m proud to be a member here.

    So it’s okay to be happy now? Alright, guys. Just let me know the next time I need to panic, because I never see the warning signs.

    • #27
  28. I. M. Fine Coolidge
    I. M. Fine
    @IMFine

    One of President Trump’s best public speaking moments to date as well; a cogent, thoughtful, sincere, on-script-and-on-point introduction. Bravo.

    • #28
  29. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    NR’s Bench Memos has a quote of the “you have to laugh or you’ll cry” variety:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/444404/senate-democrats-supreme-court-nominee

    It lists the usual charges that Democrats level against Republican nominees, and the surprising target of one set of accusations.

     

    • #29
  30. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    I had zero doubt from the moment he was sure to be nominated that a president Trump would give us someone who was mostly conservative and unquestionably pro second amendment.

    It was interesting to see counter arguments when I knew they would be proven wrong. It was interesting to give arguments and have them sort of refuted, often vociferously.

    These were not really counter arguments. They were counter feelings. No evidence was ever given in support of the feeling that he would govern as a flaming liberal. It was exasperating at the time to try to debate rationally when all I could say was “you’re wrong, just wait.” Now, I’d just like to see some humility from Trump critics.

    Enjoy the moment. But setting up straw men like “govern as a flaming liberal” isn’t likely to bring humility in return. On the issue of the moment, I can’t think of a single argument here that suggested that a Trump SCOTUS pick wouldn’t be well preferable to a Clinton pick. And after he released his lists, which were praised by Trump fans and critics alike, it became obvious that he’d appoint a conservative.

    There were several arguments in the comments of that post that said he would do worse, but as you say, that was before he put out the list.

    • #30
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