Here’s what we know about Judge Neil M. Gorsuch:
• Harvard Law School, 1991His decisions are this:
• Law clerk, Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White/associate attorney general
• Nominated by George W. Bush, 2006, to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
• From 1995–2005, Gorsuch was a lawyer at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel
• Opposed to class action suits. That’s good. Class actions suits are an abomination that let lawyers use injured people to rob companies. No one benefits but the lawyers. The left will hate this.His most interesting opinion to me, is a case called Guitierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch. Do you remember me talking about the way to shrink the federal government is to take away the ability of Congress to pass vague laws and let the Executive essentially fill them in? In Guitierrez-Brizuela, he talked about reconsidering the court’s 1984 Chevron case which gave federal agencies the authority to interpret ambiguous laws rather than striking them down and sending them back to the Congress. That's the case I was talking about, or at least the final nail in the small government coffin. Changing that would be a great change, and the fact he recognizes that makes him interesting.
• Ruled that religious employers cannot be forced to provide contraceptive insurance. This was the same thing the Supremes would say later. The left hates this. He also said that governments can display religious materials without needing to display the materials of all competing religions. Liberals will hate that too. But in so saying, he pointed out that the law doesn’t protect popular beliefs, it protects unpopular beliefs. I suspect this means he will protect the rights of minority religions equally. This is how it should be, but it will frustrate the Religious Right, who don’t like the government also promoting Islam.
• Favors capital punishment. Not controversial.
• He’s never ruled on abortion, but he’s VERY opposed to euthanasia, which suggests he’ll be pro-life. How he goes on this will be hard to tell. He’s a “strict constructionist,” but that doesn’t actually suggest a position because abortion is a new issue... it was not part of the Constitution when written. Conservatives often claim to respect precedent. But when it comes to Roe v. Wade, they often go apesh*t on the precedent issue. I suspect he will go with his political views and be pro-life, but who knows.
• No idea what he will say on gays. I think that issue is settled though.
• He’s very pro-big business. I don’t like that.
• He doesn’t support a wide open Commerce Clause. That means he would have voted against Obamacare and may be opposed to the war on drugs. This is generally a good position for those who favor smaller government. I see that as a red herring.
Ultimately, I don’t think Gorsuch changes anything though. He is a safe choice who was approved by the Democrats in the Senate under Bush (though they will block him now), and he replaces Scalia and should rule about the same. The next justice will be more interesting. Trump definitely picked a solid candidate to make the GOP establishment happy. This was no rogue pick. I don't think the public will care either way. I am disappointed Trump didn't pick a woman to defuse the "he hates women" stuff. We'll see.