NewsMar 20, 2017 by Will Maule
The Senate confirmation hearings for Trump's supreme court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch are due to commence today. So, what do we really know about this man who is set to take the highest seat in the judicial system? Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition highlights 5 key things that EVERY Christian should know.
1. Neil Gorsuch, age 49, was born in Denver Colorado and educated at Columbia University (B.A.), Harvard Law School, (J.D.), and University College in Oxford, England (D.Phil).
"He previously served in private practice at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, and served as principal deputy to the associate attorney general and acting associate attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice. He was appointed as a judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by George W. Bush."
2. In his judicial philosophy, Judge Gorsuch is considered a proponent of originalism,
"This is a manner of interpreting the Constitution that begins with the text and attempts to give that text the meaning it had when it was adopted, and textualism, a method of statutory interpretation that relies on the plain text of a statute to determine its meaning."
3. Concerning his religious affiliation, it’s unclear whether Gorsuch considers himself to be Catholic or Episcopalian.
"The judge currently attends worship with his wife (who was born in England) and two daughters at St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. However, when the Gorsuch family were members of Holy Comforter, an Episcopal parish in Vienna, Virginia, from 2001 to 2006, Judge Gorsuch listed his religion as Catholic, and there is no record that he formally joined the Episcopal Church. If he’s a Catholic Gorsuch will be the sixth Roman Catholic serving on the court, along with Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas. If he’s Espicopalian, he’ll be the first Protestant on the Court since Justice David Souter, also an Episcopalian, retired in 2009."
4. In 2006 Gorsuch wrote a book titled The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, which makes the case against legalization.
"(However, during his confirmation hearing he said he would follow the law rather than personal convictions, and that in his writings he has largely defended existing precedent in these areas.) In the book he considers euthanasia and assisted suicide to be essentially “consensual homicide” and writes, “[I]t is simply not acceptable when we are deciding who is and is not treated as fully human… it is incompatible with the promise of equal justice under law that any of us should feel at liberty to sit in judgement to decide who is and who is not entitled to the benefits of that promise.”
5. During their Senate
"But it has become a custom, says Gerard V. Bradley, for nominees to “refrain from offering a candid, up-or-down judgment of any standing Supreme Court precedent. By ‘standing,’ I simply mean a case that has not been overruled. Nominees do not hesitate to say that Dred Scott (slavery) or Plessy (segregation) was a mistake.” For example, Clarence Thomas, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra O’Connor all declined to comment when asked their opinion on the landmark abortion case. And in his 1986 hearing, Antonin Scalia even refused to say what he thought of the 1803 case Marbury v. Madison. As Scalia said, “I do not think I should answer questions regarding any specific Supreme Court opinion, even one as fundamental as Marbury v. Madison.”"
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