On February 1, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
To aid the Senate—and the public—in its task of evaluating this nomination, this report assesses Judge Gorsuch’s judicial record, outlook, and views about the law. Importantly, in considering his record—as with any nomination for a lifetime seat on the judiciary—it is not the Senate’s job to merely rubber stamp a nominee based on a review of a resume or academic record. The Supreme Court at any time, but particularly now, is essential in protecting our rights. It is vital that anyone confirmed to the Court has a demonstrated commitment to ensuring that the Constitution and our nation’s laws protect all Americans. Thus, the Senate must carefully examine the nominee’s record to ensure our nation’s next Supreme Court justice shares a commitment to critical constitutional values and legal protections and can be a fair and open-minded jurist.
Alliance for Justice has reviewed an extensive portion of Judge Gorsuch’s record—most notably cases, but also writings from the period before he joined the Tenth Circuit as well as during his tenure as a judge. The report focuses primarily, although not exclusively, on cases that split the court. We have not, however, reviewed decisions he made while serving at the Department of Justice; papers from this period of his career have not been made public.
After a thorough review of his record, the primary conclusion is that, on the merits, Judge Gorsuch is not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.