Trump SCOTUS Nominee Gorsuch Looking Good

Judge Neil Gorsuch (Source: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit)

Based on what I’ve been able to learn after a couple of weeks looking at Neil Gorsuch, he’s looking like a pretty good pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. It would have been better to see a nominee that we know we can trust not to urinate on the U.S. Constitution, say Senators Ted Cruz or Mike Lee, but since we aren’t going to get a nominee we know without a doubt we can rely on, Gorsuch appears to be the best choice available.

Gorsuch is a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a Bush appointee since 2006, so we have a decade of appeals court record from which to draw some conclusions.

Though Andy Schafly, son of the late conservative matron Phyllis Schlafly, doesn’t think too highly of Gorsuch, Schlafly’s reasons are somewhat vague in the interview I heard (e.g. Gorsuch hasn’t been too vocal in support of life, he attends a pro-abortion church, etc.), and the hard facts I’ve been able to uncover so far look positive.

One of my chief sources of information include a recent article by Emily Belz & J.C. Derrick at World Magazine. They point out that Gorsuch has argued against assisted suicide, in favor of Utah’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and in favor of Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor when the Obama Administration attacked their religious liberty.

There is also this very encouraging quote from the World Magazine article:

“American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom … as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education,” he wrote in a 2005 piece for National Review.

Woodrow Wilcox


Belz and Derrick say Princeton University professor Robert George says that Gorsuch and George worked on a book and a collection of essays together, and they both recognize the importance of Natural Law (that thing so pivotally mentioned in the Declaration of Independence which is sneered at by modern liberals) in some of the most contentious issues of our day.

He has also spoken favorably of “original intent,” the doctrine, also favored by the founders of the United States, that we must look to the original intent of the crafters of law if there is any question as to the meaning and intent of that law.


The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it. – James Wilson, signer of the Declaration, member of the Continental Congress, constructor of the Constitution, one of the original Supreme Court justices appointed by President George Washington., Of the Study of Law in the United States Circa, 1790

On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson June 12, 1823

The Constitution on which our Union rests, shall be administered by me [as President] according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption – a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated, not those who opposed it, and who opposed it merely lest the construction should be applied which they denounced as possible. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mesrs. Eddy, Russel, Thurber, Wheaton and Smith March 27, 1801

The first and fundamental rule in the interpretation of all instruments is, to construe them according to the sense of the terms, and the intention of the parties. – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution [section] 1871 (1833)

How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words! – Samuel Adams, Letter to John Pitts, January 21, 1776

“We the people” adopted a written Constitution precisely because it has a fixed meaning, a meaning that does not change. Otherwise we would have adopted the British approach of an unwritten, evolving constitution. – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, American Enterprise Institute speech, Feb 16, 2001

While I would like to know still more about Gorsuch (and hope to, as he is more thoroughly vetted in the days to come), so far, he looks like a surprisingly good pick. Given that Chief Justice John Roberts has egregiously betrayed the U.S. Constitution and the American people twice, you can never know too much about a judicial nominee.

After all, Trump had on his list of SCOTUS candidates William Pryor, who went after Alabama Judge Roy Moore for acknowledging the Christian heritage of the United States and Alabama. Pryor also sided with a man who acted like a woman, and went against the religious liberty of a student being penalized for holding the views considered normal and healthy in the Western world for nearly 2,000 years.

Then there was another person on Trump’s SCOTUS list, Diane Sykes, who blocked Indiana from defunding Planned Parenthood and who called abortion a “right”.

And let us not forget that Trump said his pro-partial birth abortion judge sister would make a good Supreme Court justice. So for once in living memory, it seems the amazing might have happened: while we are all-too-used to candidates sounding conservative and then governing liberally, we might have finally found a “unicorn” who–at least sometimes–talks liberally as a candidate and then governs with some conservative positions.

Based on this, plus several other pro-liberal statements made by Trump during the campaign and for years before, there was certainly no reason to expect anything better in the way of Supreme Court nominees than, say, a Stephen Breyer clone. So while we know without a doubt Ted Cruz and Mike Lee would have upheld the U.S. Constitution on the nation’s highest court (they’ve done it in congress for several years now, and perhaps we can hope for one of them in a future nomination), Gorsuch appears to be a very pleasant surprise.

How wonderfully refreshing…so long as we don’t start thinking such a thing is more common than a unicorn, and let our guard down.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • Thisoldspouse

    The addition of Gorsuch, assuming he’s a real conservative, will only partially mend the fatal wound inflicted by decades of leftist madness. That will only reposition the Court to the position is was when marriage was destroyed by undefinition and the ACA was “legislated” from the bench.

    I hate to say this - but it’s essentially a matter of life and death for this country and inhabitants - but we need Bader-Ginsberg to pass on, peacefully in her sleep, of course, and several other aged leftist court justices to retire. Dozen if not hundreds of federal courts need to be scrubbed of leftist totalitarians and real constitutional justices to replace them.

    • Indeed. Before Scalia died, we basically had three judges who could be counted on to uphold the constitution: Scalia, Thomas and Alito. Roberts did probably most of the time (except when it really counted), and Kennedy every now and then. The rest were hostile to the constitution and the American people.

      The congress desperately needs to grow some anatomy and rein in the courts. The constitution says they can, but they don’t have the will.

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