President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee is Neil Gorsuch
By Declan Kaasler
On January 31, 2017, President Donald Trump held a special press conference from within the White House to announce what will likely be one of his most crucial nominations as President. Trump used this press conference to formally introduce his nominee for the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had been running with a vacant seat since February 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died at the age of 79.
President Trump’s nominee turned out to be Neil Gorsuch, a 49 year old conservative judge who, in many ways, is similar to Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch is currently a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to this position by George W. Bush in 2006. When it comes to interpreting the Constitution, Gorsuch, much like Scalia, subscribes to originalism and textualism.
These ideologies revolve around the principle that the Constitution is a fixed document and the best way to interpret it, is to adhere to what the literal textual meaning is, rather than considering what the writers may have intended when writing it.
Neil Gorsuch’s nomination by President Trump is sure to be a contentious point in Congress. The Republicans in Congress outright blocked any attempt to consider former President, Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, for most of 2016.
While Republicans argued that this was to bestow the nomination to President Obama’s successor, their Democratic colleagues cried foul, claiming this was another example of the sharp, partisan gridlock that has plagued Congress for the past few years. Nevertheless, President Obama’s nomination expired on January 3, 2017.
Antonin Scalia’s death came after serving for nearly thirty years. He first began his tenure on the Supreme Court on September 26, 1986, during Ronald Reagan’s administration. Since a Supreme Court Justice may serve for the rest of their life, their nominations are incredibly significant events for the government; especially because their interpretation of any given case can immediately change the rule of law across the U.S.
A Supreme Court justice might serve for decades, creating a long period where they may interpret the law, unhindered by the finite terms found in other branches of government. Neil Gorsuch has promised to avoid practicing judicial governance, which has come under fire during the Obama administration due to Supreme Court justices undermining congressional legislation to enact policies.
The national legalization of gay marriage was a result of this behavior. The Supreme Court, in its majority opinion, argue that it was not an overthrow of legislation, rather an action taken to defend the 14th Amendment.
It has come to light that Neil Gorsuch allegedly founded a club in his private high school with a startling name: Fascism Forever Club.
Gorsuch could have established this club to combat left-wing staff members of his school. Whatever the case may be, the Democratic Party will undoubtedly try to use Gorsuch’s past to discredit him before he can become a justice.
Gorsuch’s strict textualism frightens the left wing of Congress and they will try anything to keep him out of the Supreme Court. With the rise of “resistance” protests around the country, Democrats in Congress will feel pressured to delay and oppose Gorsuch’s nomination. There is little hope that such a tactic by the Democrats will be successful since the Republicans occupy a majority in both houses of Congress.