By Nima Nayeri
Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, was President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Justice Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Many praised President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination as he was the natural successor to Scalia. Besides his astonishing resume, their mutual belief in a strict interpretation of the constitution is appealing to many hardline conservatives.
Gorsuch is the son of David Gorsuch and Anne Gorsuch Burford, a Statehouse Representative, and the first female Administrator of United States Environmental Protection Agency, appointed by Ronald Regan in 1981.
Gorsuch was born in Denver, Colorado, where he attended Christ the King, a K-12 Catholic school, and later graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit school located in Maryland. In 1988 he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University, where as an undergraduate student he wrote for the student newspaper, The Columbia Daily Spectator. Precisely two years later, he co-founded the alternative Columbia student newspaper, The Fed.
Gorsuch then attended Harvard Law School where was an editor on The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy; he later graduated cum laude in 1991. Former President Barack Obama was one of Gorsuch's classmates at Harvard Law. Gorsuch was described as a committed conservative who agreed with congressional term limits and the Gulf War.
While Gorsuch was studying to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree in law from The University of Oxford in 2004, he met and married his wife Louise, an Englishwoman and champion equestrienne for Oxford’s riding team.
Gorsuch graduated from Harvard, Colombia, and Oxford in addition to clerking for two Supreme Court Justices and providing assistance to the Department of Justice on multiple occasions.
Since 2006, the SCOTUS has served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado. The geography of his location says a lot about his personal life. Gorsuch is an outdoorsman; he spends the majority of his time fishing, hunting, and skiing.
Gorsuch’s nomination is well deserved. His opinions are straightforward and aligned with many conservatives, much like Scalia’s were. One similarity between the judges is both of their judicial and ideological commitments, apart from personal policy preferences, have driven their decisions. Both men are also textualists. They believe criminal laws should be detailed and favor defendants, even if that harms government prosecutions. They both opposed efforts to eliminate religious expression from public spaces, and they are both doubtful of legislative history. Unlike Scalia, Gorsuch met an unprecedented amount of resistance during his confirmation process solely due to his affiliation with President Trump.
Initially, Gorsuch’s chance at the Supreme Court seemed minuscule, as Senate Democrats vowed to blindly reject any nominees put forward by President Trump in retaliation to Senate Republicans’ rejection of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. The Senate Democrats’ tea party-esqe grass-root opposition of President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee left the republicans with one choice: “The nuclear option,” which is the most extreme solution. The nuclear option overrides all active Senate rules and instead requires a Senate majority to confirm any appointments. In the eyes of Senate Republicans, the nuclear option was as inevitable as it was for Democrats in 2008.
Today, Gorsuch is now serving as Supreme Court Judge, marking the first time a former clerk takes the bench while his former boss, Justice Anthony Kennedy, is still sitting. Despite unwarranted criticism, Gorsuch is undoubtedly the ideal choice to serve in the Supreme Court.