Donald Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch, a George W. Bush appointee who sits on the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, as his Supreme Court pick. At 49, he is the youngest Supreme Court nominee in 25 years, and therefore could realistically shape American policy on the Supreme Court for the next thirty years. Restore Progress wants you to know where he stands:
1. HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY RULINGS ON ABORTION… BUT HIS COMMENTS INDICATE HE IS STAUNCHLY PRO-LIFE
While he has never personally issued a ruling on abortion, he wrote in his book on euthanasia that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong,” and “no constitutional basis exists for preferring the mother’s liberty interested over the child’s life. In the Hobby Lobby case, he argued abortion treatments “have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.” The choice of words in both his book and in other unrelated opinions is often used by the anti-abortion movement.
2. HE BELIEVES GAY MARRIAGE SHOULD NOT BE DECIDED IN THE COURTS
In 2005, he wrote an article for National Review stating that “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide.”
3. HE LITERALLY WROTE THE BOOK ON EUTHANASIA
Trump’s pick wrote his first book in 2006, titled “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” The book analyzed euthanasia and argued what many call the most comprehensive argument against euthanasia legalization. His conclusion is it should not be legal in any circumstance.
4. HE THINKS RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS MAY DEFY THE GOVERNMENT
Justice Gorsuch believes that courts need to “accept [religious] parties’ own conceptions regarding the requirements of their faith.” He is possibly best known for siding with Christian employers in the Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor cases. In both those cases, he held that the government could not require the employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives because the government should not be able to violate a group’s “religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.”
5. HE’S A STRICT TEXTUALIST, LIKE SCALIA
Trump’s pick explains that his job is “to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be.” This is in the same mold as his predecessor, Scalia. A leading legal blog, SCOTUSBLOG, says that Judge Gorsuch is an originalist. In a case in 2008 about the Sex Offender Registry, United States v. Hinckley, his argument was exactly the same as Scalia’s in a similar case 4 years later.