President Donald Trump recently called upon the power vested in him jointly by the American people and the United States Constitution and officially nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat on the United States Supreme Court vacated by the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia. Like many Americans, you’re probably searching for information about this pick. You may have a faint recollection of Gorsuch deep in the recesses of your mind for opinions he penned on matters such as Hobby Lobby providing employees with contraception or the legality of displaying religious symbols such as the Ten Commandments on state grounds. Consider this your crash course on the soon-to-be Justice Gorsuch’s life.
Neil Gorsuch was born and raised in Colorado, as President Trump pointed out during his highly anticipated speech. What Trump did not mention--but many pundits made note of--was that Gorsuch’s mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, was the first female director of the EPA. Appointed by Ronald Reagan, Burford was an ardent defender of states’ rights and republican ideals. While his mother served in her new capacity of head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a young Neil Gorsuch made the move to D.C. and graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School.
From there his educational career only gets more illustrious. Gorsuch attended Columbia, where he graduated with honors. While a student, he helped to found a student newspaper called “The Fed,” which he felt was a necessary antidote to the toxic politically correct culture that was pervading Columbia’s campus. After Columbia, Gorsuch attended Harvard Law, and he ultimately obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from Oxford.
While his resume through schooling is nothing to sneeze at, Gorsuch’s real appeal comes from his legal opinions. He writes much in the style of his legal heroes. He clerked for both Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony Kennedy, and their indelible influences have bled over into Gorsuch’s jurisprudence, though he has taken their support of judicial restraint a step further than either of his mentors. He is a strong proponent of a textualist approach to interpreting the Constitution, and he is a harsh critic of judicial activism in all forms.
In his speech shortly after President Trump announced his nomination, Gorsuch pledged to faithfully uphold the judicial legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia, calling the Constitution the “greatest charter of liberty the world has ever known.” He affirmed his commitment to “impartiality and independence, collegiality and courage.” He asserted that the role of a justice is to “apply, not alter” the laws of the United States.
Neil Gorsuch is indisputably qualified to serve on the Highest Court in the Land. He is dedicated, determined and full of Constitutional conviction, which are the greatest qualities one can hope for from a potential justice. He will abide by our most sacred governing principles and dole out justice without bias or partiality. I have great faith he will become a legal lion and a leader cut from the same cloth as Justice Scalia, whose absence has left a gaping hole not just in the Supreme Court but in the American legal system as a whole. Neil Gorsuch might be just the right man to mend that opening.
Kyla Percival is an online editor for the GW College Republicans. The opinions expressed on this blog are her own opinions and do not represent the official views of the GW College Republicans.