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The Milton Measure

Trump Makes Solid Decision in Supreme Court Nominee Gorsuch

by on Friday, April 14th, 2017

Last Friday, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Republican Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed by the Senate on a 54-45 vote. A New York Times article reports that the Democrats had tried to filibuster, which is to delay, Gorsuch’s nomination but were ultimately unable to swing the vote in their favor.

A year ago, a Supreme Court seat became vacant after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a Republican who espoused conservative ideology. Scalia also supported the original interpretation of the Constitution, which is based on what people at the time of the Constitution’s adoption thought the words meant. Mirroring Scalia, Gorsuch leans toward reaching compromises in the hopes of appeasing both parties. However, the newly confirmed Justice is less deferent toward regulation and possibly more willing to cross-examine our president’s executive orders. Although Gorsuch is expected to be the steadfast conservative heir to Scalia, he brings an open and experienced mind to the Supreme Court; perhaps these qualities, in addition to his receptive leadership skills, could possible unify the polarized Supreme Court.

Gorsuch is a highly experienced and decorated high court Justice; he holds degrees from Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford, has clerked for two Supreme Court Justices, and currently serves on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado. However, Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center notes that, “the real appeal of the Gorsuch nomination is he’s likely to be the most effective conservative nominee in terms of winning over Anthony Kennedy and forging conservative decisions on the court… he’s unusual for his memorable writing style, the depth of his reading and his willingness to rethink constitutional principles from the ground up.”

Gorsuch observes an anti-regulatory judicial philosophy that, in some instances, causes him to stray policy-wise from standard GOP appointees. For example, a January 2017 article from Politico describes a criminal justice case in which a seventh grader was charged with a misdemeanor for producing fake burps in gym class. While Gorsuch’s colleagues supported the arrest by suggesting that this transgression was a disruption of the educational process, Gorsuch remained unpersuaded, deeming the grounds for arrest unethical.

Like his predecessor, Gorsuch bases his decision-making largely on a set of judicial and ideological commitments to what’s sensible for both parties. While his personal policy preferences are more conservatively aligned, Gorsuch, as expressed in the aforementioned criminal justice case, holds a commitment to what the most reasonable decision is, even if this decision questions government prosecutions or the conservative status quo.

In Supreme Court decisions, Justice Anthony Kennedy is frequently the deciding factor. On social issues, the moderate conservative tends to side with the court’s four-member left wing, but in largely divided cases, the Justice tends to lean towards his party. Entering with a driving right-wing agenda that’s obscured by a calm and poised manner, Gorsuch could potentially be a huge resource for the Republican party, as he could use his poise, stature, and informed judgments to sway Kennedy to the right.

Gorsuch is exactly what the conservative party and, more importantly, the Supreme Court needs. He boasts an impressive pedigree with distinguished judicial experience. He is — in respect to both his conservative ideology and his emphasis on compromise — the ideal successor to late Justice Antonin Scalia. He’s the perfect judicial counterpart to President Trump, as the potential Justice’s anti-regulatory approach would decidedly moderate the president’s rash executive decisions. He could largely advance the Republican party in the realm of the Supreme Court by swaying moderate Anthony Kennedy. In both his writing and judicial agenda, he supplies a sense of fairness that, while propelling the Republican party forward, can simultaneously appease Senate Democrats. Amongst a growing list of ill-advised decisions, be assured of this: Trump made the right decision on this one.

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Posted by on Apr 14 2017. Filed under More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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