Meet America's Newest Supreme Court Justice: Judge Neil Gorsuch

Tyler Durden's picture

Confirming a choice that many had already pegged as a front-runner to fill Antonin Scalia's vacant seat, President Trump officially announced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. Gorsuch, 49, the youngest supreme court nominee in 25 years, was among a group of federal judges reported in recent weeks to be on Trump’s shortlist. A strict adherent of judicial restraint known for sharply-written opinions and bedrock conservative views, Gorsuch, a Colorado native, is popular among his peers and is seen as having strong backing among Republicans generally.

A fly-fishing enthusiast and skier who lives outside Boulder, Colorado, Gorsuch lived in Washington DC as a boy, after his mother Anne Gorsuch Burford was appointed by Reagan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. After graduating from Columbia University, Gorsuch, who is said to have “an inexhaustible store of Winston Churchill quotes”, went on to Harvard Law school and attended Oxford University on a Marshall scholarship. He worked as a corporate lawyer in Washington for a decade before his appointment to the circuit court by George W Bush in 2006, a post to which the Senate confirmed him by voice vote.

Per Politico, Gorsuch has the typical pedigree of a Supreme Court Justice with degrees from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford.  Moreover, Gorsuch's professional background includes time at a Washington law firm, the Department of Justice and clerkships with Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, and some conservative analysts theorize that he could assert a rightward influence on the centrist Ronald Reagan nominee.

Gorsuch has the typical pedigree of a high court justice. He graduated from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, clerked for two Supreme Court justices and did a stint at the Department of Justice.  He attended Harvard Law with former President Barack Obama.


His work background includes time as a partner with the Washington law firm Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel, a stint with the U.S. Department of Justice and clerkships with Supreme Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.


Since 2006, he has served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Colorado. His supporters note that he is an outdoorsman who fishes, hunts and skies. On the court, conservatives hope he could become the intellectual heir to Scalia, long the outspoken leader of the conservative bloc.


For conservatives, Gorsuch meets conservative standards as an originalist and a textualist — someone who interprets the Constitution and statutes as they were originally written. His family has ties to the Republican party locally and in Washington, and at the age of 49, he could sit on the high court for decades — a big plus for conservative supporters.  Per The Denver Post:

Gorsuch is best known nationally for taking the side of religious organizations that opposed parts of the Affordable Care Act that compelled coverage of contraceptives. In one of those cases, Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, he wrote of the need for U.S. courts to give broad latitude to religious beliefs.


“It is not for secular courts to rewrite the religious complaint of a faithful adherent, or to decide whether a religious teaching about complicity imposes ‘too much’ moral disapproval on those only ‘indirectly’ assisting wrongful conduct,” he noted in a concurring opinion.


The Supreme Court later ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, which now is not required to subsidize birth control that it finds objectionable.


Gorsuch also has written against euthanasia and assisted suicide, the latter of which Colorado legalized last November. “All human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong,” he wrote in his 2006 book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.”

Of course, while his conservative record will no doubt be enticing to Republican Senators, Gorsuch's past support of term limits may draw criticism from both sides of the aisle, as can't have anyone disrupting the power structure of Washington D.C. now can we.

One position that might give pause to the lawmakers voting on his nomination is his past advocacy on behalf of term limits. In 1992 he co-wrote a paper for the Cato Institute that argued term limits are “constitutionally permissible.”


“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,” he wrote. “A term limit, we suggest, is simply an analogous procedure designed to advance much the same substantive end.”

As the Guardian notes, Trump’s nominee has the potential to tip the court one way or the other on those questions. If confirmed, Gorsuch would return the court to nine justices, filling a seat left vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.  Working for the last year with an even number of justices, the court issued split 4-4 decisions on high-stakes questions such as the protection of undocumented immigrants and the health of public unions, leaving lower court rulings in place.

The next justice to be confirmed may break such ties, giving new strength to the court’s conservative bloc, which could be further buttressed by future Trump nominations in the case of the retirement or death of a justice. One of the four liberal-leaning justices on the court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, turns 84 in March. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a centrist on the court who has sometimes split tie votes for the progressive wing, is 80 years old.

Gorsuch’s track record as a judge on the US court of appeals for the 10th circuit does not shed obvious light on how he might rule as a supreme court justice on hot-button topics such as abortion and marriage equality. He is the author of a book about euthanasia in which he writes, “to act intentionally against life is to suggest that its value rests only on its transient instrumental usefulness for other ends.”

Ideological strands running through Gorsuch’s appeals court rulings would seem likely to endear him to congressional Republicans and Trump’s conservative base. He has shown himself to be solicitous to claims of religious exemptions from the law, to gun rights claims and to the prosecution of death penalty cases.

During Trump’s announcement, Gorsuch addressed the crowd briefly, declaring himself “honored and humbled” and promising to be a “faithful servant to the constitution and laws of this great country” and paying tribute to the principles of partiality, independence, collegiality and courage.

For a lawyer's view on Gorsuch, read this SCOTUSblog profile on Gorsuch. Some of his key legal positions are below

  • Second Amendment: He wrote in United States v. Games-Perez these rights "may not be infringed lightly."
  • Roe v. Wade: Gorsuch has never had the opportunity to write on Roe v. Wade. But, for any indication on how he would vote on abortions, the "right to privacy" defense from the dormant commerce clause is relevant, and he isn't buying it. This clause, known as "dormant" since it is not explicitly written out in the Constitution, indicates that since Congress regulates interstate commerce, states cannot pass legislation that unduly burdens or discriminates against other states and interstate commerce.
  • Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius: He distrusts efforts to remove religious expression from public spaces generally, but watch out for cases citing RFRA and RLUIPA — he ruled in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius that the contraception mandate in Obamacare placed an undue burden on the company's religious exercise and violated RFRA.
  • Capital punishment: Gorsuch is not friendly to requests for relief from death sentences through federal habeas corpus.
  • Criminal law: Gorsuch believes there is an overwhelming amount of legislation about criminal law, and believes that cases can be interpreted in favor of defendants even if it hurts the government. On mens rea — which means "guilty mind," or essentially the intent to commit a crime — Gorsuch is willing to read narrowly even if it means it doesn't favor the prosecution.
  • Checks and balances: Gorsuch does not like deferring to federal agencies when they interpret laws, so watch out for use of the Chevron rule, which allows federal agents to enforce laws in any way that is not expressly prohibited. Gorsuch may push back.

As a side note, per the The Denver Post, Gorsuch comes from a well known Republican family whose mother served in the Reagan Administration before being forced to resign in 1983, facing a criminal investigation and a House contempt of Congress citation over records related to alleged political favoritism in toxic-waste cleanups. 

Gorsuch comes from a well-known Colorado Republican family. His mother, the late Anne Gorsuch Burford, was Environmental Protection Agency director for the Reagan administration for 22 months. She slashed the agency’s budget and resigned under fire in 1983 during a scandal over mismanagement of a $1.6 billion program to clean up hazardous waste dumps.

With that, let the Senate confirmation theatrics commence.

Under current Senate rules, which require 60 votes for a supreme court confirmation, Gorsuch would need to win the support of multiple Democrats, who count 48 Senate caucus members to the Republicans’ 52.

If the Democrats follow through with a filibuster, however, those rules could change. The previous Democratic leadership of the Senate changed the rules to require fewer votes for the confirmation of most executive nominees, and the current Republican leadership could make an additional change to the rules. McConnell earlier had vowed to confirm Trump’s nominee. White House press secretary Sean Spicer downplayed the looming threat of an all-consuming political brawl over Trump’s nominee, telling reporters on Tuesday that he believed the Senate would reach the 60-vote threshold required to confirm supreme court appointees.

Interest groups across the political spectrum will spend millions on a public campaign to legitimize or tear down a supreme court nominee. Already, conservative groups are running ads to pressure Senate Democrats in red states into siding with Republicans over the nominee.

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InjectTheVenom's picture



InjectTheVenom's picture

something just struck me....kinda nice, ain't it, when your President comes to the podium ON TIME !!!!!!!


LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Croesus Jan 31, 2017 8:24 PM

This guy seems pretty solid.  Hopefully he won't have an epiphany and decide that the Constitution is trash and Big Government is the answer.

The country has been ruled (ruined) by leftist courts for quite a while now.  That has to be reversed.  Hopefully this is the start.

SilverRhino's picture

Breyer, Ginsberg and Kennedy .... pack your bags

Billy the Poet's picture

Some sort of box is generally preferred.

Creepy Lurker's picture

Made from a nice mahogany, perhaps.

yogibear's picture

Ginsberg your time is just about up. 

Your master in hell is waiting for you.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"written against euthanasia and assisted suicide, the latter of which Colorado legalized last November. “All human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong,” he wrote in his 2006 book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia"

I like what I see.  However, as an adult, I am able to make my own decisions about MY life, including if I should end MY OWN life.  If that is my choice, for whatever reason, then you should STFU.  If I am laying in bed with terminal cancer, in pain beyond your belief, who are you to tell me that I should keep suffering???

xythras's picture


A Supreme Justice with balls. 

You know, those things "modern" US Army LACKS completely since Obama's trannies infiltrated the ranks.


Killed by Women?

"Almost Everything Went Wrong" in Deadly Seal Team Al-Qaida Raid

Oh regional Indian's picture

So he believes huamns are no angles and should thus have term limits, but none for Supreme court Justices?

This is the kind of hypocricy that we see all over.

You are not, but he is so special, almost angelic and thus free from odious things like term limits....

whole system is a frigging joke...

Crawdaddy's picture

Aye. One more trained monkey for the gong show.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Crawdaddy Jan 31, 2017 10:53 PM

I thought Ginsberg was going to move to New Zealand if Trump was elected.  Get the hell out!

missionshk's picture

the rothchild's have bought up half of new zealand, they are expecting to live comfortably thru the next nuclear ww that they are currently financing.

this guy is a Jesuit, tied directly at the hips to them, and their satanist globalist agenda...  beside that he was appointed by bush..  \

smells to me... like a rothchild pick

TruthHunter's picture


But he's Actually a Bannon pick...BTW Bannon is Jesuit educated, too. Ever wondered why SCOTUS is all Catholic or Jewish? All doing "god's" work? 

 One Jesuit bragged;  if there are barricades in the streets, our agents are on both sides.

If you want to understand them, read Sun Tzu's Art of War. Black pope Lorenzo Ricci introduced the book to the west.

AldousHuxley's picture

If politicians are just ugly lawyers who couldn't make it in hollywood, then judges are just politicians who couldn't win any elections.


Supreme court seems to be doing fine without that seat being filled, so why put another government pensioner on the bench?


Judicial branch is as independent from executive branch as are the Federal Reserve.


BIG JOKERS riding on Harvard Law degree they got 50 years ago.

new game's picture


eatthebanksters's picture

I just hope McConnell doesn't fuck around and just pulls out the nuclear option and gets it done. Fuck these showboat toiletstopper turd progressives.

ReignDeer's picture

Zerohedge is infested by paid shills like this one since a couple of months. They downvote 'fringe' comments - comments that point out pointlessness of changing the system from within.

GoingBig's picture

You don't know what the fuck you are talking about so shut up. These are highly trained American soldiers. One of them who gave his life. Mainly seals and marines, not army. So please don't bless us with your stupidity.

Citxmech's picture

"may not be infringed lightly."

I don't recall the word "lightly" in the Second Amendment anywhere.

So much for originalism.

Kidbuck's picture

True, "lightly" is bullshit in this context. But in getting to where we would like to go sometimes we have to appease assholes until we are completely in charge. Time will tell. If Trump can get one or two more who understand English and the founder's logic perhaps things may change?

nmewn's picture

Gorsuch is a good solid pick, he is an originalist having clerked under White and Kennedy. Personally, I have always admired Kennedy's libertarian bent (what people call judicial temperament) in interpreting what the Constitution & BoR's is...but especially...what both are not.

Not sure if this was Trumps pick or him following the advice of others but it is surprisingly good in my opinion, it puts Schumers nuts in a vice and when he starts screeching & sobbing like a leftist woman in a pussy suit...our attention can focus on McConnell with his finger hovering over the nuclear option button to see what kind of balls he has ;-)

jmack's picture

dont worry, the hospital will kill you for you, once your insurance runs out.

MsCreant's picture

Those two are others doing it for you. I understand objecting to that. If I needed help I might want it, but I am saddling someone with the burden of having done that for me, the rest of their life. And then there are cases where you did it, I didn't want it, but you say I did. 

Meanwhile when someone is dying, there is so much grey area. Do you try to save them, insert that breathing tube for the 5th time, knowing it hurts and is awful, or do you turn up the anesthesia, knowing they will die in an hour if you do that, but they will be comfortable? At the end, docs don't want to seem like they are trying to talk you into letting them do that, but you know they want you to say yes to that and stop wasting resources on this sick, elderly, person. Are you a murderer if you say yes? Or did you participate in an assisted suicide? Or how about they decide, because they do not have an order to resuscitate, to just not do it? Did they kill the person?

Lots of grey area. I have not read his stuff, but his point of view eliminates one of them.

SWRichmond's picture

This is what "advance directives" are for: wise and considered opinions not made on the heat of the moment, decisions made by competent and sane adults about how they wish to die.  Death is part of life.  We will all do it.  Why not relieve your loved ones of the burden of making that decision in some situation where they no longer can consult you?

ich1baN's picture

You're talking about an extreme case Beam... I think Gorsuch is trying to show that there is value in those who feel their lives are unworthy and wish to just end it via assisted suicide as some have done in Europe despite them not having any major physical ailments.

CrankyCurmudgeon's picture

But,but, I have Jeezus telling me personally who should live, who should die, and how many thousands of dollars I should give in thanks for being allowed to live.

Joel Osteen, Tammy fae Bakker, Franklin Graham, I don't believe in Abraham's god. But if y'all have the right of it, I'll spit in his eye and take the consequences. Betcha I win 2 out of 3.

Nexus789's picture

One would hope that he does not get a terminal illness that leaves him in incredible and unbreable pain.  Arrogant prick.  

VinceFostersGhost's picture





Amazing......none of the cameras were working that day......that's funny.


What does wetworks mean?


There's some stuff we can talk about at the autopsey......creamation without family constent......driving around for hours in the Texas desert for hours when there was a Gulfstream jet sitting right there.....I could go on. could just confirm him.

11b40's picture

Yes, and corporations are not people, and unlimited money in politics is destroying the country.  Show me were the word corporation even appears in the Constitution.

TruthHunter's picture

I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one...a whole one.

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture


If you are in that state and you want to hang yourself, go ahead. If you really want to, no one will stop you.

But there is a massive difference between you offing yourself and the majority of the people (or a black-robed tyrant) sanctioning The State to appoint doctors to kill people.

Do you really trust The State, that same State that controls our healthcare and who finances that healthcare through tax revenue collected only by those who are working, to have the authority to deem someone's life worth snuffing?

In Europe, they have already approved state-sponsored euthanasia for cases of depression.

Think about that and the slippery slope you are proposing.

Ledlak's picture

Anyone can end their own life anytime they like. You don't need any assistence. Just do it. No law written against suicide ever stopped one by an individual bent on doing themselves in. The point is, you don't need government approval.

WernerHeisenberg's picture

Note, this is the first appointment of a WASP to the court since 1975 (Stevens by Ford).  That rather broadly defined ethnic group was once an overwhelming majority of Americans, almost everyone during the Revolution.  Even today, roughly 40% of Americans would more or less fit that label.  So now this minority group which has been utterly abused for two generations by the banker occupation government will get a token spot on the SCOTUS again.  Note WASPs would need 4 judges to be fairly represented. 

Crawdaddy's picture

Noted. I hope the P in WASP is real and not merely for show. 

scaleindependent's picture

The SCOTUS nominee was educated in a Jesuit school by Jesuit luminaries.

missionshk's picture

yep, appointed by GWbush to the FCA..  he is a straight up NWO judge... this is a bad pick, it will turn around and backfire on the people.  

he is trained by Jesuits.. supports Episcopals, who believe jesus was a homosexual

this is a shit pick

Robert Trip's picture

Sleazebag Jesuit trained Judges who believe Jesus was a homosexual for $100.00 Alex."

CrankyCurmudgeon's picture

Garbage. Souter by Bush 41 in 91 or 92. He was an old fashioned yankee republican. (yeah, the slavery sucks kind)  When he could no longer stomach the kluxers that run today's republican pary, he went home to New Hampshire to hike the White Mountains while he still could.

11b40's picture

Exactly.....5 Catholics & 3 Jews right now.  Obama's pick was another Jew.  This is not an accident, folks.

GhostofBastiat's picture

What's the difference between Palm Springs and Hell?

It's a matter of Degrees!

(Just a snark out to the old "master" in thief in his new digs!)

4 wheel drift's picture

bitch and cunt does not usually go along supreme court justice...

but...  (and a BIG BUT)   there are ALWAYS exceptions...  and oh shit

this is a big one....

sodbuster's picture

I think Ginsberg died 3 years ago- she just doesn't realize it yet. She needs to be told!

AldousHuxley's picture
Anne Gorsuch Burford (his corrupt mother)


  • Appointed by Reagan administration to head EPA
  • As 1st female head of EPA with agenda to dismantle toxic waste laws for benefit of Coors Family (sh!t Colorado beer in a can) and BIG big STANDARD OIL MONOPOLY)

  • Wanted to protect BIG OIL to continue selling LEADED gasoline. (notice how it says "unleaded" at all gas stations today?)
  • In just 2 years got canned by Reagan himself for incompetency (women make good politican patsy/scapegoats)
  • Her mentor at HUD James Watt (another patsy sponsored by Coors from Wyoming) was indicted on 25 counts of felonyperjury and obstruction of justice by a federal grand jury
  • While serving as EPA head in DC, divorced her long time husband and married a BIG GOV douchebag at Bureau of Land Management

  • She died young of CANCER at age 62. NEVER disclosed the type of cancer 
  • The use of leaded gasoline is only allowed in 6 nations. These nations are Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, North Korea, Myanmar and Yemen. 
  • Original workers at a Standard Oil lead plant died, after “wrenching fits of violent insanity.” (Almost 40 of the plant’s workers suffered severe neurological symptoms like hallucinations and seizures.

Elites know the son is also corruptable. He has better pedigree  (like mother had nothing to do with it) and paper credentials to boot per their grooming plans. 

Kissinger still holding on to his shares of Theranos stock in case blood testing of lead poising in children becomes the next big thing.

Term limit politically appointed judges first (sounds like they are permanent politicians these days) otherwise they are going to rule from their benches for next 40 years! unlike politicians who have to be responsive to $$$ at the least and somewhat vetted by public through elections.


This guy reminds me of hillary. Trump can do better than this tool.

AldousHuxley's picture

Master has been waiting for all the justices for a LONG TIME. ...those government elite healthcare plans are just too good!

greenskeeper carl's picture

@billy, they will pull out all the stops to keep Ginsburg's corpse animated and out of that box. Pump her full of preservatives so she doesn't stink and send an electrical impulse so she twitches occasionally. Anything to keep trump from getting more court nominees.


And damn, a 49 year old? Donald is putting is stamp on the court for a long long time.

Savyindallas's picture

Took years to get rid of that rat Souter. Turncoat Kennedy needs to go next. The Roberts  -who through bribe or blackmail gave us Obamacare. Gorsuch won't turn on us. Great choice. The Christians are now back in charge. The Jews lost control  -Thank God-they have done enough harm. Ginsbugh needs to bo quick  -we're stuck with Sotomayer and the lesbo Kagan for a while, but Breyer is 76. maybe he will bow out soon. 

Save_America1st's picture

Hmmmm....I dunno.  I was pulling for Judge Napolitano all the way.  Hope Trump gets a second pick at some point and Judge Nap gets the nod.

I don't wanna be negative about this guy being picked...but some red flags jump out here, don't they?  Mom was EPA (doesn't have to be bad, but in this day and age, the EPA are fucking scumbags), he went to Columbia which is full of Commies and other socialists (again...maybe back then it wasn't as bad as today, but O-Traitor supposedly went there too, right?)...and he also went to Harvard...the good 'ol boys club of globalist scumbags, and again where O-Scumbag went.

If you go back and read up on the Fabian Socialists who's shield or "crest" are a wolf in sheep's clothing in order to deceive the world so that they can re-mold the world into whatever the fucked up Socialist utoptian/tyrannical globalist dictatorship it is that they envisioned, then I sure fucking hope this guy hasn't spent his life as one of those "manchurian candidates" who has scammed everyone in order to rise to this appointment.

And all the while Trump might not have any fucking clue.  How did Trump come to nominate this guy?  How long has he known him?  Or was he just some recommendation by scumbag globalists who are deceiving Trump?

Hope not.  Sure fucking hope not.  But at this point, in this day and age after what we just experienced over the past 8 fucking years, or let's just say the last 30+ years, and with all the crazy bullshit going on since Trump was elected, I'm not sure if I'll ever trust any of these fucking people for more than 2 seconds ever again til the day I die no matter what.  And let's not forget that Scalia was knocked off in order to open up a spot on the court so that someone else could be "chosen" to be there instead.

I hopt this guy is totally not the guy the globalists and traitors wanted and that he's not some trojan horse plant that Trump was duped into nominating.  We'll just have to wait and see. 

Just sayin'...