10 Things About SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch That Every American Should Know

Posted: Mar 20, 2017 2:50 PM
10 Things About SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch That Every American Should Know

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch. 

Here are 10 facts about the man who may soon occupy the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. 

He’ll be the baby of the Court.

Judge Gorsuch was born on August 29, 1967; so, if confirmed, he’ll be the youngest member currently serving on the Supreme Court at 49 years old. However, he still isn't the youngest to ever be appointed to the high court. Justice Joseph Story was appointed in 1812 at the age of 32. 

He’s an Ivy Leaguer, through and through. 

Gorsuch received his B.A. from Columbia University, his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School (which he attended with former President Barack Obama) and his doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford University.

He’ll be the first to serve with his former boss.

Gorsuch clerked for two Supreme Court Justices, former Justice Byron White and current Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

He’ll be the only Protestant on the Court. 

While he was raised Catholic, Gorsush now considers himself a Protestant. If confirmed, Gorsuch will be the only Protestant on the Supreme Court; five of his potential colleagues are Catholic and the other three are Jewish. 

He’s an originalist and a textualist.

Gorsuch, like Justice Scalia, is an originalist, meaning he believes the Constitution should be interpreted the way its authors originally intended. He’s also a strict textualist, meaning he interprets the law based on the ordinary meaning of a statute’s words. 

He’s a strong advocate of religious liberty.

Gorsuch backed Hobby Lobby in the controversial case, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, arguing that closely-held for-profit corporations should be able to choose exemption from an Obamacare mandate which requires companies to cover certain contraceptive for their employees, if they have religious objections. 

The case was taken to the Supreme Court, which ruled in in favor of Hobby Lobby. 

One of his biggest issues is assisted suicide.

Gorsuch is a known opponent of assisted suicide and euthanasia. In 2006, he released his book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, in which he writes, “The idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

No one knows, for sure, where he stands on Roe v. Wade. 

Gorsuch hasn't ruled directly on abortion, nor has he publicly commented on the opinion of Roe v. Wade. However, conservatives believe his book on assisted suicide and euthanasia, and his opinion in the Hobby Lobby case, give his position away. 

He’s for term limits.

Gorsuch has said in the past he’s in favor of imposing term limits on Supreme Court Justices. In 1992, he co-authored a paper for the Cato Institute arguing in favor of them. 

“Recognizing that men are not angels, the Framers of the Constitution put in place a number of institutional checks designed to prevent abuse of the enormous powers they had vested in the legislative branch,” the paper reads. “A term limit, we suggest, is simply an analogous procedure designed to advance much the same substantive end.”

No one knows if his position has since changed. 

Law isn't the only thing he enjoys. 

According to CNN, Gorsuch is also an avid skier, fly-fisherman and hiker.