January 31, 2017


Trump Picks Neil Gorsuch, A Scalia Clone, For The Supreme Court (Oliver Roeder and Harry Enten, 1/31/17, 538)

Gorsuch is a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Denver-based federal court that covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, as well as the portions of Yellowstone National Park that extend into Montana and Idaho. He was appointed to the position by George W. Bush in 2006 and was confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote.

He attended Harvard Law School, as well as Columbia and Oxford, and clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court. (White retired in 1993 and died in 2002.) It's the sort of gleaming ivory C.V. that was largely absent from the rest of Trump's shortlist. Academically, Gorsuch would fit right in: Every current justice attended law school at either Harvard or Yale. But if he's confirmed, it would be the first time a justice and his former clerk sat together on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch is 49. The youngest member of the current court, Justice Elena Kagan, is 56.

Ideologically, Gorsuch would almost certainly represent a reliably conservative vote and voice, restoring the tenuous balance on the court that existed before Scalia's death. According to "judicial common space" scores, developed by a team of political scientists and legal scholars, Gorsuch would be the most conservative justice save for the silent stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas and would sit somewhere just to the right of the ideological space occupied by Scalia.

Neil Gorsuch: A Worthy Heir to Scalia Judge Neil Gorsuch (RAMESH PONNURU,, 1/31/17, National Review)

Gorsuch's tie to Justice Kennedy, frequently a swing vote on the Supreme Court, may also be an asset. If Gorsuch can persuade Kennedy to join an opinion, a narrow loss for the conservative position could become a narrow win. There is also the possibility that Gorsuch's presence would reassure Kennedy about the direction of the Court and make him more willing to let Trump name his own replacement.

Posted by at January 31, 2017 6:45 PM