On Tuesday, January 31st, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left open after Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death. Gorsuch’s conservative stances and impressive resume make him the logical choice for the nomination.
Gorsuch received his Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Law from Oxford University. He served as a judicial clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle for the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C circuit from 1991 to 1992, then served as a judicial clerk for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. After his clerkships, Gorsuch went into private practice working for Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel for eleven years before returning to public service working for the U.S Department of Justice.
On March 10th, 2006, President George W. Bush nominated Gorsuch to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He passed through the senate unanimously. While serving on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch commented on a number of issues, ranging from assisted suicide to money in politics.
On religion, Gorsuch sided with store owners in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius, stating that the contraceptive mandate on private business in the Affordable Care Act violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He echoed these views in cases like Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, and Zubik v. Burwell.
On the topic of money in politics, he has stated that donating money to a politician while campaigning is a “fundamental right” that should be afforded the highest standard of protection. Gorsuch has also been highly critical of assisted suicide laws, penning the book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.”
On top of having similar views to Justice Scalia, Gorsuch has been noted as having a very similar writing style. Justin Marceau, law professor at the University of Denver’s Scrum School of Law, stated that Gorsuch is “almost certainly [Scalia’s] equal on conservative jurisprudential approaches to criminal justice and social justice issues.” In terms of likeness to Scalia, Neil Gorsuch is Trump’s best bet of preserving Scalia’s legacy.