When Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the highest court in the land, conservatives breathed a huge sigh of relief. So far, the new judge has not disappointed.
According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, members of the Federalist Society held their 2017 Lawyers Convention Annual Dinner, featuring Justice Gorsuch. The Justice was celebrated by more than 2,000 constitutionalist attendees, who praised him for saving the Supreme Court.
“Tonight I can report that a person can be both a publicly committed originalist and textualist and be confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Justice Gorsuch said to the audience.
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, people on both the Left and the Right knew that the next appointee could determine the course of the court’s decisions for decades. If Hillary Clinton were elected, she would have appointed a leftist activist judge. This was one of the several reasons why Donald Trump won the election.
According to The Gazette, Gorsuch has acted in a way that conservatives love and leftists hate. He has leaned to the Right on most of his rulings, and has even contradicted Chief Justice John Roberts, who has issued opinions supporting Former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Needless to say, individuals on the Left were not happy about Gorsuch’s appointment, but not just because of his originalist judicial philosophy. When Scalia died, Obama nominated Merrick Garland, but the Republicans in Congress refused to confirm him until after the election. The strategy worked when Mr. Trump became President.
Early reviews have been what most would expect: conservatives have a favorable view of the newest justice, while leftists are still weeping over the fact that Clinton didn’t win the 2016 election. The Gazette stated that the Alliance for Justice, a liberal organization, was concerned that Gorsuch would gravitate towards more conservative opinions. They were right.
Daniel Epps, a Washington University law professor who clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, told The Gazette that he takes issue with Gorsuch’s manner. In one instance, the court argued about redistricting. Gorsuch started a question by suggesting that “maybe we can just for a second talk about the arcane matter, the Constitution.”
Mr. Epps did not appreciate the new justice’s tone. “I’d love to see a bit more recognition that the court deals with really hard questions that many people, including his colleagues, have struggled with for a long time. If someone thinks he has all the answers, maybe he’s missing something important,” he said.
Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society, has taken on Gorsuch’s critics while introducing him at dinner. “They mischaracterize candor and a demand for rigorous analysis as polarizing,” he said.
Gorsuch is a firm believer in an originalist interpretation of the law. To him, it is essential that judges look at the original meaning of the Constitution when it was written. “Originalism has regained its place at the table of constitutional interpretation, and textualism in the reading of statutes has triumphed,” he said. “And neither one is going anywhere on my watch.”
The justice also addressed his critics, stating that “some pundits have expressed bewilderment” about the questions he asks. “But while I have you here tonight, I thought I might just settle the matter once and for all by taking a poll. Should I just keep on asking about the text and original meaning of the Constitution?” he asked.
Not surprisingly, the response was wildly in favor. The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is one of the most significant actions on part of the Trump administration. Hopefully, the President will be able to appoint other judges like Gorsuch.