Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Congratulations, Judge Gorsuch!

President Trump has just announced the excellent news of his nomination of Tenth Circuit judge Neil M. Gorsuch to fill the Scalia vacancy. As I outline in my essay on NRO’s home page and will detail in follow-on posts here, I regard Judge Gorsuch as an outstanding selection. From my essay:

Gorsuch is a brilliant jurist and dedicated originalist and textualist. He thinks through issues deeply. He writes with clarity, force, and verve. And his many talents promise to give him an outsized influence on future generations of lawyers.

For an example of the respect that Gorsuch’s judicial craftsmanship has earned across ideological lines, see Eric Citron’s review of his record at SCOTUSblog. An excerpt:

He is celebrated as a keen legal thinker and a particularly incisive legal writer, with a flair that matches— or at least evokes — that of the justice whose seat he would be nominated to fill. In fact, one study has identified him as the most natural successor to Justice Antonin Scalia on the Trump shortlist, both in terms of his judicial style and his substantive approach….

[T]he great compliment that Gorsuch’s legal writing is in a class with Scalia’s is deserved: Gorsuch’s opinions are exceptionally clear and routinely entertaining; he is an unusual pleasure to read, and it is always plain exactly what he thinks and why. Like Scalia, Gorsuch also seems to have a set of judicial/ideological commitments apart from his personal policy preferences that drive his decision-making. 

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