A Jurisprudence of Doubt: Judge Gorsuch’s Troubling Inconsistency About Disclosing His Constitutional Views


After months of touting his litmus tests for a Supreme Court Justice, numerous comments disparaging federal judges who do not rule in his favor, as well as authoritarian and anti-Constitution executive actions, Trump placed a profound burden on his nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

During his confirmation hearing, Gorsuch had to prove to the American people that, if confirmed, he would serve as an independent check on the elected branches, especially when they violate constitutional and legislative protections, including protections against corruption; that would not be a rubber stamp for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business interests; and that he is open-minded, fair, and guided by the whole text and history of the Constitution, and not by a right-wing political agenda.

Unfortunately, Gorsuch failed to satisfy this burden by being elusive on basic questions of constitutional rights and guarantees. He refused to shine any light on his judicial philosophy concerning voting rights, the right to choose an abortion, access to contraception, and equality for gay, lesbian and transgender people. Although he provided his views on other cases and constitutional values, Gorsuch had virtually nothing to say about these fundamental principles.