ap17024739756097President Donald Trump has made his choice for the Supreme Court and it is Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49.  With the selection, President Trump would be submitting a jurist with unassailable credentials and proven intellect.  He is also someone with a proven conservative record, though there are a few blind spots for those who want a nominee vaccinated against what conservatives view as the David Souter virus — a creeping condition where a conservative gravitates to the left of the Court with time.  Last night, The Hill newspaper ran my column on Gorsuch and his unquestioned qualifications.

Gorsuch comes from what can be viewed as conservative aristocratic stock.  He is the son of David Gorsuch and Anne Gorsuch Burford. His mother achieved fame (or infamy depending on your view) as the first female head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 1981 to 1983.  A Reagan appointee, she was forced to resign for failure to turn over documents to Congress in any investigation of the Superfund.  She long maintained that she was following the advice of counsel.  Judge Gorsuch spent time in Washington, D.C. and attended Georgetown Preparatory School and received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1988.  He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991 and then received the prestigious  Truman Scholarship and later received a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from University College at Oxford University in 2004 under a Marshall Scholarship.

He went on to  clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1991–1992, and then for United States Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy from 1993–1994.  After going into private practice and becoming a partner, he served as Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General, Robert McCallum, at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2005 until 2006.

It is a stellar resume and Gorsuch is widely viewed as a powerful writer and intellectual leader on the Court.  That should be a comfort to conservatives who lost an intellectual icon in Antonin Scalia.

Unfortunately, Gorsuch would continue the problematic exclusion of all schools but Harvard and Yale law schools from the Court.  Gorsuch graduated from Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford. I have previously written how this exclusion can no longer be dismissed as some colossal coincidence.  When you virtually exclude all but two of the nation’s 160 law schools as sources for justices, it not only reduces the number of outstanding candidates but guarantees a certain insularity in training and influences on the court. This bias is not only elitist but decidedly anti-intellectual.

Gorsuch could prove the perfect addition for a right coalition, particularly in working with the Court’s perennial swing justice — Anthony Kennedy.  As a former clerk to Kennedy, Gorsuch could prove key in any future coalitions.  He is also someone who has a good reputation even with liberals (He went to law school with Barack Obama).

Where Gorsuch  may depart from Scalia is in his approach to federal agencies and the Chevron doctrine.  Gorsuch has criticized the decision (a view that I share) and has indicated that he would prefer a less deferential approach to agency decision-making.  Scalia upheld such deference though I have heard that he privately expressed qualms about that aspect of his jurisprudence toward the end of his life.  It is his position on federal agencies that I consider the most interesting in this nominee.  He has warned how federal agencies “concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design.”  In a line that could now become prophetic, Gorsuch declared “Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.”

Another flashpoint may be Gorsuch’s public opposition to assisted suicide.  He is the author of a 2000 law journal and 2oo6 book criticizing state laws allowing assisted suicide.  Six states currently have such laws.  Gorsuch appears to embrace the notion that politicians (unlike judges) can legislate morality.  On both of these issues, he may not appeal to some libertarians or civil libertarians.

Gorsuch’s interpretive style works closely with the text of the Constitution or statutes. He has praised Scalia’s jurisprudence in that regard.  This includes an emphasis on originalism.  He is also known as a strong supporter of religious liberty. He voted in favor of Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor in their challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.  Gorsuch wrote that the government had transgressed upon  “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Gorsuch has the intellectual chops to help push forward a new conservative legacy on the Court.  He could be a rallying point not just for the current conservative justices but could be key in a transformative court with possible replacement of any of the three oldest justices: Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer.  All will be in the 80s during Trump’s first term.



  1. Trump came for Australia today. Flynn was yacking about a war with Iran and Bannon wants war with China. Time to get some sleep. Plenty of rest is needed for survival in Trumpistan.

  2. Here is one for you – Calling all Special Snowflakes, let’s Unite and Become an Avalanche.

    1. Snowflakes melt in the sun and special snowflakes melt all the time. They have too many feelings to become organized. It would be like herding cats.

    1. IF the violence was a cop killing a kid, JT would be here to say “that’s the rule of law!!!!”

      Where is the clamoring for the prosecution of those who started this fire?!?!

      Hahaha engaging in free speech on here does not test any limits because most of y’all are alt-right ideologues with a lack of self-awareness and a fantastical narrative as history.

        1. Yeah! How dare Milo stir up the neo-Nazis of the Left! If you poke a Nazi, he will poke back!

          “In California i fascisti si dividono in due categorie: i fascisti e gli antifascisti.” (Hat tip to Ennio Flaiano!)

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

    2. Is anyone surprised that a white nationalist Breitbart bro is not being welcomed at Berkeley?

        1. I didn’t know members of the KKK and the FBI were considered the Left

      1. Not really, but John Yoo (an obvious war criminal) is a respected professor of law (like JT) at Berkeley.

        Thus, it speaks to the values folks at Berkeley are actually concerned about… If the white nationalist wasn’t from breitbart but cloaked as a public interest law professor or a federal judge, there is little push-back, and the paychecks are still signed.

        1. He sure is and he blasts Islam. Bet there were plenty of Muslims out there tonight wishing him farewell.

        2. Exposes your ignorance…. Or your knowledge and espousal of similar white nationalist views that you feel the need to defend a person who is clearly a white nationalist (just check the definition…).

            1. Lol my peeps? I don’t know what the means…

              I do know that if it was a rabid mob of whites (law enforcement or otherwise) lynching or killing a black kid, JT and his people would raise their voice to advocate for certain “peeps” though.

          1. ChipKelly – several magazines have walked backed their accusation that Milo was a white nationalist. You need to keep up with the liberal news.

            1. Lol people in mainstream circles consider JT to be liberal… you think I trust their news? I have enough evidence from Milo…

  3. “This bias is not only elitist but decidedly anti-intellectual.”

    And decidedly American.

        1. Squeeky – that was the GREAT Marcel Marceau, the French mime. I saw him in concert twice.

            1. Squeeky – there will never be another one like him. His appearances on Ed Sullivan were nothing compared to seeing him in person.

              1. Ed Sullivan was way before my time. I have seen him on youtube, with Elvis and the Beatles. I did get a good dose of Lawrence Welk because it was in reruns and my dad loved the show. I think he had the hots for some of the virgins who sang on the show ever since he was a kid.

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

                1. Squeeky – some of those virgins were hot and your dad was right to be interested. 😉

                  1. They must have been, since he had been watching them since the late 1960s. I still watched the show sometimes, too, just out of a sense of nostalgia. It’s been a few years. I wonder if it is still on?

                    Squeeky Fromm
                    Girl Reporter

                    1. It used to be on PBS. Let me check! Yep, it’s on Saturday night! Songs of the South, like Chattanooga Choo-Choo, and Carry Me Back to Old Virginny! Kewl! I DVR’d it. FWIW, Chattanooga is from the French, and means “head of the cat.” I guess there must have been pumas there back then when La Salle came through.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

  4. Judge Gorsuch is eminently qualified, but an unfortunate choice nonetheless. As for the frequent encomiums to “originalism” sprinkled like stardust on this blog, perhaps someone can explain the ahistorical and ungrammatical treatment of the Second Amendment in Heller, or the nonsensical corporate anthropomorphism found persuasive in Hobby Lobby. I’ll stick with Blackstone, who wisely understood that the law is an inter-disciplinary calling, requiring something more than erudition and a dictionary.

    But to the point: Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed because Mitch McConnell will employ the ominous “nuclear option” if necessary for that purpose.

    1. If I was McConnell, I would go nuclear immediately just to save time, and all the hysterical drama-queening that we will see on TV as various whining-a$$ Democrats get on air and call Gorsuch names, and beat on their chests about women dying of backroom abortions (which is fine with me) and blacks being put back in chains blah blah blah. Going nuclear would cut about 2-3 weeks of crap off the whole deal.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    2. Agree…but probably the best one expect from Trump. Bottom line for me is that he is not insane or totally corrupt like so many of Trump’s people are. If he is for states rights as some say, that could be helpful in the Trump era for states like California.

      1. There is no chance that he will permit California to usurp Federal law on immigration. J H Kunstler nailed it Monday:

        That principle may be the deep neurosis of the Dem/Prog Left reduced to virtue-signaling in their out-of-power echo chamber. Having no coherent ideas about the immigration issue besides resistance to it, they offer only sentimental narratives: tears on the statue of liberty, “dreamers,” sanctuary cities, nation-of-open-arms, we’re-all-children-of-immigrants, and anyway North America was stolen from the Indians. The hysteria is impressive, as if the Left has come down with ergot poisoning, seeing witches (racists, homophobes, misogynists, white privilege villains, and Russians) behind every juniper shrub in the land.

        Those “sentimental narratives” do not work well in legal arguments.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

          1. You are right! I was wrong! The NYT is right! You Liberal and Democrats should all support Gorsuch! He is the best thing to come along for liberals and progressives in a long time! You should keep listening to the NYT on this one! Kudos on picking up on this! I am sooo disappointed in Trump, picking this person! I am pulling out my hair over this heinous choice for the SCOTUS! I feel sooo betrayed!

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

    3. Our nation would be far better served if we our politicians accepted fostering a meritocracy through an establishment founded on the appointment of the best and brightest, thus creating the basic standard for all future appointments, rather than tit-for-tat politics that only delays progress and hurts the citizenry.

  5. I am happy that he is qualified, an originalist, and willing to push back against federal agencies.

    I also agree that the exclusive preference for Harvard and Yale graduates is discriminatory and overlooks many qualified candidates. It is my understanding that the top corporate law firms in NY only hire Harvard or Yale graduates, so this bias may be difficult to overcome with a NY businessman at the helm.

    Personally, I would wish that Professor Turley be nominated for the next spot.

    1. I hope JT never gets a sniff…. that would be dangerous to any person that actually cares about civil liberties.

  6. I just realized this, and maybe someone already said it? This pick does break the Catholic/Jewish monopoly. This guy is an Episcopalian.

    1. That’s outrageous. Trump is permitting an Episcopalian to assume a seat which has been safely Catholic for decades.

  7. If the “problem” of the Supreme Court is that they all graduated law school from Harvard or Yale, then what exactly is the “problem”? How does this problem manifest itself? Don’t they all complete the same H/Y requirements to graduate? Think of the military academies for example. They turn civilians into officers based on identifiable standards. But by the time they reach command level, they by no means all lead the same, manage the same, etc. I would argue the experience they receive “post” graduation has a greater influence on their worldview than what they received in school.

  8. As we are looking to space travel, amazing medical advances, and all kinds of historical bombshells, he would have us look backwards to 2/3rds of an individual, the pony express and wooden dentures.

    And even after the amazing OT gospel finds at Nag Hamadi, Egypt … to the presumably literal correctness of the Bible as well.

    PLEASE !!!


  9. The “Harvard/Yale” syndrome exists for a very specific reason. Those who have passed through those particular gates have been carefully vetted to determine if they will serve the interests of the Establishment Elite.

    I have written many times on this blog on what the real purpose of the SCOTUS is and how you can easily determine how they will decide on any given issue, regardless of whatever “brand” its members are given (liberal, conservative, originalist, or any other BS labels). The bottom line on any SCOTUS decision is to serve ONLY the interests of the Establishment Elite, and never the general public. Thus, if, say, a corrupt corporation is pitted against some poor schlub who got royally screwed over by the corrupt corporation, guess who wins, regardless of the facts and the law?

    If you answered yes, you are already on the track to understanding our SCOTUS legal system. At the SCOTUS level, they manufacture laws to serve the interests of the Establishment Elite. Scalia, for example, has been touted as a Constitutional “originalist.” But that is pure BS. I could point you to many cases where Scalia violated case precedent and the letter of the law to favor a party by pulling his “argument” directly from his figurative rectum.

    For example, in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), the plaintiff in the case was a district attorney who claimed that he had been passed up for a promotion by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (then headed by Gil Garcetti) for criticizing the legitimacy of a warrant.

    First, applying Adamo’s Law, who do you think won?

    Of course, the corrupt Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office won, despite the extensive body of case law throughout the circuits supporting the plaintiff and the specific facts of the case that strongly favored the plaintiff. How did the SCOTUS get around the overwhelming force of the law and the rock solid facts favoring the plaintiff to rule in favor of the corrupt entity (a government agency in this case)?

    This is where Scalia’s Harvard education came in handy to serve the interests of the Establishment Elite. Scalia invented a whole new rationale to get around the First Amendment and case precedent. He invented a new law that because the plaintiff’s statements were made pursuant to his position as a public employee, rather than as a private citizen, his speech had no First Amendment protection.

    Scalia went even further in manufacturing law to serve the Establishment Elite’s interests by proclaiming that if a person’s job involves identifying/exposing wrongdoing of any kind, and the person attempts to blow the whistle when his/her superiors try to silence or fire him/her, the person has no First Amendment protection because of the person’s job description. If the person was a janitor or bus driver and happened to find and expose evidence of fraud, however, the janitor/bus driver would be protected by the First Amendment because their job duties wouldn’t involve identifying/exposing wrongdoing.

    Pretty slick, huh? But total BS. What does a job description have to do with First Amendment protection? Nothing in the world of reason and logic. But the real purpose of Scalia’s perversion of the First Amendment was to rewrite the law to actually facilitate government corruption and to make sure that the corrupt government always wins against the little person trying to do the right thing and successfully crushes that person if he/she gets in the way of the ongoing corruption.

    What I’d like to see is an appointment of a SCOTUS justice who didn’t even go to law school, with people of such quality as Abaham Lincoln, Patrick Henry, John Jay, and John Marshall. Heck, even Clarence Darrow hardly went to law school. He tried it but didn’t like it. It got in the way of his legal education. But we’re unlikely to ever see men of the calibur appointed to key judicial positions. Instead, we’re always going to be stuck with judges where “the fix is in.”

    You remember how Trump complained about how the legal system was “rigged.” Well, he was right. And his latest appointment proves it. It doesn’t matter who they put up. Nobody with integrity will ever be nominated. The system doesn’t permit that. And Elite Establishment always wins at the SCOTUS level, regardless who is President.

  10. Dems in power; the Constitution as founded is old and outdated; it needs to be a living/breathing document.

    Dems out of power; You’re damaging the Precious Inviolable Constitution!

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