February 1, 2017


Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, explained (Dylan Matthews, Jan. 31st, 2017, Vox)

Gorsuch is a widely acclaimed jurist, a favorite of conservatives and libertarians but also very respected by liberal colleagues. He's exactly the kind of elite, educated figure who's traditionally made it onto the Court. His mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, was Ronald Reagan's director of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1981 to 1983. A graduate of Columbia (where he was a Truman scholar), Oxford (where he got a doctorate under the acclaimed Catholic legal philosopher John Finnis as a Marshall scholar), and Harvard Law (which five other members of the Court attended), Gorsuch clerked on the DC Circuit and then for both Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy before working at a boutique litigation firm in Washington, DC, for 10 years and doing a brief stint in the George W. Bush Justice Department.

So it's perhaps not surprising that when Bush appointed to him to the 10th Circuit -- which covers much of the Mountain West, including Gorsuch's home state of Colorado -- at the age of 38, he was easily confirmed by voice vote.

This time should be different. [...]

But so it is with Gorsuch, who wrote a full book on assisted suicide and euthanasia that, while fairly recapping both sides, came down decisively against legalizing the practice. In the book, Gorsuch offers a detailed critique of Peter Singer's influential utilitarian argument for allowing euthanasia and of a similar one from fellow Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner, as well as critiques of autonomy-based arguments from philosophers like Ronald Dworkin.

Gorsuch argues for the position that "human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and that the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong." 

At the End of History this is pretty nearly the only substantive issue that separates the two parties, with Democrats requiring fealty to the idea that human life has no intrinsic value.

Waging a culture war over this single issue is not going to help with their estrangement from Middle America.

They would be wise to come out in favor of this nominee and against the AG.

Posted by at February 1, 2017 9:16 AM