Analyzing Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

On Tuesday, January 31st, President Donald J. Trump nominated Colorado 10th District appeals court judge, a George W. Bush appointee, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States of America to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Antonin Scalia had been one of the most influential conservative legal minds in the nation and Gorsuch aligns heavily with Scalia’s originalist interpretations of the Constitution. However, with Gorsuch’s nomination, a political war is going to be waged on the senate floor for his approval. For those who do not already know, a Supreme Court nomination must be confirmed by the senate, and this 100 member legislative body is divided amongst their respective parties.

To give Whitman students the opportunity to form an opinion on Gorsuch, here is a list of the views held by the nominee and the legal point of view he would bring to the court. This also outlines the outcome his decisions will have for potentially thirty to forty years on the bench.

Gorsuch, like Scalia, is a firm originalist. Believers of this textualism theory require the criteria of law be in accordance with the original interpretation of the Constitution. Gorsuch believes that the constitution should be interpreted based on the original intent of the founders. He also believes that the words in the Constitution have unalterable definition and that a flexible interpretation of the constitution would be detrimental to the fundamental individual liberties the Constitution protects.

On immigration, Gorsuch favors the interpretation by judges over massive federal agencies. He states, “A government of diffused powers, (the founders) knew, is a government less capable of invading the liberties of the people.”

On abortion, Gorsuch is said to be pro-life. However, he never publicly stated a thorough opinion on the 1973 Roe V. Wade decision.

On the environment, Gorsuch believes that the court should not be used as a means to push through environmental legislation on matters that are not put to a vote in Congress.

On gun rights, Gorsuch is a firm believer in the right to keep and bear arms, as per the second amendment which he interprets strictly.

Gorsuch’s point of view on various issues has caused many liberals to fight his Supreme Court appointment. Many believe the minority leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York, will lead an obstructionist series of filibusters to put off a vote for the nominee.

Many Whitman students have opinions on Gorsuch. Sophomore Andrew Borges believes that he is a “dangerous pick who thinks corporations are people and has a draconian view of the LGBTQ community and women’s rights.”

Paw Print politics editor Ashar Farooq believes that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is “going to have a major impact on the American young people as he will probably serve a relatively long time. It appears that he may be a relatively fair replacement of Scalia, but if Trump picks, more scouts, judges in the future it will change the entire scope of the Supreme Court.¨

Ashar Farooq brings up a great point regarding the age of Gorsuch. Only 49 years old, he could be making decisions for many years to come.

Sophomore Gabby Safian is against the pick for the nomination and thinks he is very intelligent but his point of view “does not represent the views that many people have.¨

Overall, the nomination was exactly what the media foresaw, a conservative justice who is very much in the mold of the past justice Antonin Scalia. Liberals and Conservatives are now in conflict over whether the nominee Neil Gorsuch should be admitted to the Supreme Court, as his decisions will not only greatly affect the multitude of issues today but those in generations to come.