Photo courtesy of NBC News
Photo courtesy of NBC News

Neil Gorsuch: Supreme Court Justice

April 20, 2017

Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch had been subject to confirmation hearings two weeks before he was finally confirmed as the next supreme court justice, effectively replacing the late Antonin Scalia. He was at the mercy of the 100 member congressional body of the senate. Gorsuch had just revealed more about himself during these hearings as appealing to more of a moderate Republican base than even President Trump expected. Gorsuch, swimming against the current of the right wing agenda, had come out as against most of what the GOP and Trump has established in the party platform.

Gorsuch is pro-choice and has been trending along the more moderate and liberal agenda when it comes to social issues many young people are concerned with. Gorsuch, when asked about his stance on the possible overturning of Roe V. Wade, (the supreme court decision in 1973 ruling in favor of legal abortion procedure), said, “I would’ve walked out that door.” Gorsuch went on to say that it would be an easy decision to rule against the president who nominated him. It would be an especially easy decision if Trump (or any president, for that matter) were to ask him to either overturn a case or rule in favor of a specific decision, exclusively based on political alignment. The supreme court has long held sacred the idea of “Stare Decisis”, or the practice of setting precedent with a landmark case. This prevents the supreme court from drastically changing their mind in the near future. Gorsuch maintains that he is always a fair judge over a politician and will not promise favors or take bribes while in the seat of Supreme Court Justice. This is especially appealing and in some cases relieving to more progressive liberals – the very same liberals he berated in an essay in January of 2005, the same time George Bush was getting inaugurated after his victory against John Kerry.

Gorsuch is a self-described originalist, which means he is of firm believing that the Constitution is the most powerful binding document that should most directionally influence the final decision to a court case. Gorsuch has stated that he will adhere to the Constitution as often as possible when deciding cases. In 2006, former President George Bush appointed Gorsuch to the 10th circuit of appeals court in Denver. Gorsuch carried out this position in the same way, adhering to the Constitution as it was written.

Neil Gorsuch has become quite the judicial dark horse that even the most experienced congressmen haven’t seen coming. He earned much respect during his grilling on the senate floor, and now that he is officially confirmed, the Supreme Court is maintaining a slight conservative majority, but not as strong as many were fearing. Both liberals and conservatives alike see Gorsuch as a legitimate replacement for the late Antonin Scalia, and to be a strong bipartisan voice for many decisions for many years to come.

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