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

Summary

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.

More from Federal Courts and Nominations

Federal Courts and Nominations
December 7, 2018

RELEASE: Trump Caves to Pressure, Nominates Permanent AG

CAC President Elizabeth Wydra: “Clearly the pressure over President Trump’s unconstitutional appointment of Whitaker reached...
By: Elizabeth B. Wydra
Federal Courts and Nominations
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Blumenthal, et al. v. Whitaker

Holding President Trump accountable for evading the Senate’s advice-and-consent role through his designation of Matthew Whitaker to serve as Acting Attorney General.
Federal Courts and Nominations
November 19, 2018

RELEASE: CAC Represents Senators Challenging Unlawful Appointment Of Matthew Whitaker As Acting Attorney General

In a complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia,...
By: Elizabeth B. Wydra
Federal Courts and Nominations
November 15, 2018

Advice & Consent: The Senate’s (Changing) Role in Judicial Confirmations

Host: Brennan Center for Justice and The New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy
The NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy and the Brennan Center for Justice invite...
Federal Courts and Nominations
October 26, 2018

Will abortion controversies get Supreme Court hearing? Planned Parenthood funding cases await action

ABA Journal
Several abortion cases working their way through the courts could end up before the U.S....
Federal Courts and Nominations
October 25, 2018

Abortion cases are heading toward the Supreme Court. Can the justices avoid them for long?

USA Today
Abortion opponents who have waited decades for a reliably conservative Supreme Court are knocking on the...