Judge Gorsuch is fair and independent.
- His extensive record shows that he has consistently and eloquently argued that judges should base their decisions on the law and the Constitution, not their own policy preferences or personal feelings.
- He knows that power under our Constitution ultimately rests with the American people. He is firmly in the mainstream of American jurisprudence, as bipartisan support for his nomination shows.
Judge Gorsuch is exceptionally qualified.
- Judge Gorsuch has an extensive body of work, having decided thousands of cases in his decade of service on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He is widely recognized for his brilliance as a legal thinker as well as a superb legal writer.
- As Eric Citron explained on SCOTUSblog.com, “He is celebrated as a keen legal thinker and a particularly incisive legal writer, with a flair that matches — or at least evokes — that of the justice whose seat he would be nominated to fill.”
- Judge Gorsuch has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for over a decade. He was confirmed without opposition in 2006, and received the bipartisan support of Colorado’s two U.S. Senators:
Wayne Allard (R) and Ken Salazar (D).
- When nominated to the Tenth Circuit, Judge Gorsuch was given a unanimous “well qualified” rating by the American Bar Association.
- Before becoming a federal judge, Gorsuch served as Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and earned the prestigious Edward J. Randolph Award for outstanding service. He was also a partner at the Washington law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans, and
- Judge Gorsuch clerked for Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He also clerked for D.C. Circuit Court Judge David Sentelle.
- Judge Gorsuch graduated from Columbia University in only three years and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He earned a Truman Scholarship to help pay for Harvard Law School and graduated cum laude. Judge Gorsuch later attended Oxford as a Marshall Scholar and earned a D.Phil in legal
Judge Gorsuch is a hard-working man of integrity.
- Judge Gorsuch is the son of David Gorsuch, a Denver lawyer, and Anne Gorsuch Burford, who served as the nation’s first female EPA Administrator under President Ronald Reagan.
- Growing up in Colorado, Judge Gorsuch had a paper route, shoveled snow in the winter and mowed lawns in the summer. During summer vacations in high school and college, he worked as a furniture mover and a front-desk clerk at a Howard Johnson hotel.
- He has been married to his wife, Marie Louise, for 20 years and they have two teenage daughters.
Judge Gorsuch deserves an up or down vote.
- President Trump went further than any presidential candidate in history by sharing his list of potential Supreme Court nominees with the American people. Exit polls showed that the Supreme Court was the top issue for one in five voters, and 57% of that group voted for President Trump.
- The American people have spoken. Now it is time for the Senate to give Judge Gorsuch a full and fair hearing and to confirm him so that the Court is at full capacity.
Textualism and Originalism
In Of Lions and Bears, Judges and Legislators, and the Legacy of Justice Scalia (Case Western Reserve Law Review (2016)), Judge Gorsuch made it clear that, like Justice Scalia, he believes judges should follow the text and original meaning of the Constitution, not their own policy preferences:
Respectfully, it seems to me an assiduous focus on text, structure, and history is essential to the proper exercise of the judicial function. That, yes, judges should be in the business of declaring what the law is using the traditional tools of interpretation, rather than pronouncing the law as they might wish it to be in light of their own political views, always with an eye on the outcome, and engaged perhaps in some Benthamite calculation of pleasures and pains along the way. Though the critics are loud and the temptations to join them may be many, mark me down too as a believer that the traditional account of the judicial role Justice Scalia defended will endure.
Constitutional Checks and Balances
In Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, Judge Gorsuch laid out in detail his view that the Constitution’s separation of powers protects the American people from threats to their liberty. As he put it:
In enlightenment theory and hard won experience under a tyrannical king the founders found proof of the wisdom of a government of separated powers. In the avowedly political legislature, the framers endowed the people’s representatives with the authority to prescribe new rules of general applicability prospectively. In the executive, they placed the task of ensuring the legislature’s rules are faithfully executed in the hands of a single person also responsive to the people. And in the judiciary, they charged individuals insulated from political pressures with the job of interpreting the law and applying it retroactively to resolve past disputes. This allocation of different sorts of power to different sorts of decision-makers was no accident.
Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly stood up for the religious liberty of all Americans. In Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, he stood up to the Obama Administration’s attempt to force organizations and individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs and conscience. Similarly, in Yellowbear v. Lampert, he ruled in favor of an inmate who said that prison officials violated his religious liberty by refusing him access to a prison sweat lodge that was necessary to practice his Native American faith.
Over-Regulation and Over-Criminalization
In his 2013 Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, Judge Gorsuch discussed the ever-expanding federal criminal code: “Without written laws, we lack fair notice of the rules we must obey. But with too many written laws, don’t we invite a new kind of fair notice problem? And what happens to individual freedom and equality—and to our very conception of law itself—when the criminal code comes to cover so many facets of daily life that prosecutors can almost choose their targets with impunity?” Citing James Madison in Federalist 62, Judge Gorsuch warned that “when laws become just a paper blizzard citizens are left unable to know what the law is and cannot conform their conduct to it. … It is an irony of the law that either too much or too little can impair liberty. Our aim here has to be for a golden mean. And it may be worth asking how far we might have strayed from it.”
Judge Gorsuch respects the Second Amendment, writing in United States v. Games-Perez that “there is ‘a long tradition of widespread gun ownership by private individuals in this country,’ and the Supreme Court has held the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”
Freedom of Speech
Judge Gorsuch bases decisions on what the law says, regardless of his own political beliefs. In Riddle v. Hickenlooper, Judge Gorsuch agreed that Colorado campaign finance law unconstitutionally permitted major party donors to make two contributions per election cycle while minor candidates could only receive one contribution. Judge Gorsuch wrote that there is “something distinct, different, and more problematic afoot when the government selectively infringes on a fundamental right.”