He's a conservative nominated to replace a conservative on the U.S. Supreme Court. But what else do we know about Judge Neil Gorsuch?
President Donald Trump last night nominated Gorsuch for associate justice of the Supreme Court to fill the seat that's been vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia almost a year ago. Gorsuch, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford, was appointed to a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in 2006 by President George W. Bush.
While serving on the 10th Circuit, Gorsuch sided with the owners of Hobby Lobby in the case challenging the ObamaCare mandate that the company provide for abortifacient drugs.
Attorney Abraham Hamilton III with the American Family Association believes that alone says a lot about Gorsuch.
"If anybody has any questions about Judge Gorsuch's constitutional interpretive approach, I think the Hobby Lobby case gives a good indication how he views the Constitution," Hamilton tells OneNewsNow. "[It also] gives an indication how he squares the intersections between religious liberty and the constitutional interpretation."
Attorney Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says the SCOTUS nominee has also come down on "the right side of religious freedom issues" in siding with Little Sisters of the Poor.
"[Gorsuch] also has expressed very strongly on the issue of the sanctity of human life in a book that he wrote – called The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia – that human life is fundamentally and inherently viable and that the taking of innocent human life by a private person is always wrong," Staver shares.
Attorney Travis Weber of the Family Research Council points out that the appointment of the next Supreme Court justice was high on the list for many voters.
"Twenty-one percent of voters pointed to the Supreme Court as the most important factor driving their vote – and President Trump won that group by 16 points," says Weber. "A lot of these people were concerned about the life issue, about how the court handles abortion and about religious liberty.
"So it's very important that we have someone who is an originalist, a textualist who interprets the text of the law, the statute and the Constitution as they are written and doesn't read rights into the law that are not there," he adds. "If we get that right, a lot of good things will fall into place and the country will be better off."
Just what Trump promised …
Troy Newman, president of the pro-life group Operation Rescue, confirms Weber's argument about the importance of the life issue for those who supported Trump.
"One of the reasons I endorsed Trump for president was because of the strong promises he made to pro-life leaders," says Newman in a press release. "Now, after less than two weeks in office, he is keeping those promises, and we are very encouraged. He has proved himself to be a man of his word."
Concurring with that opinion is Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America.
"Judge Neil Gorsuch is a superb choice. President Trump has kept his word and nominated someone who, by all indications, is 'in the mold of Justice Scalia,' something the president repeated over and over during his campaign," she shares.
"This was a major issue that drove conservative women to the polls to overwhelmingly support him, and we are pleased to see him follow through on his commitment to the American people."
So … is Gorsuch up to the task of filling the shoes of the highly respected late Justice Scalia?
"President Trump indicated that he intended to nominate someone 'very much in the mold of' Justice Scalia, and Neil Gorsuch is about as close as it gets," says John Malcom, director of The Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
"Gorsuch is clearly a constitutionalist judge who resolves constitutional issues by studying the text and structure of the Constitution and trying to understand its words and phrases according to how they were understood by those who ratified them," Malcom offers. "He has demonstrated that he understands the proper, limited scope of the judicial power and chooses to leave his personal views at home when deciding cases."
A legal fellow with the Independent Women's Forum agrees with Malcom's assessment of Gorsuch.
"Although Justice Scalia is irreplaceable, Judge Gorsuch is another brilliant jurist who also happens to believe that words matter," Erin Hawley offers. "He is an originalist and a textualist who will look to the words that the Founders and Congress have written, rather than imposing his own policy preferences.
"In November, Americans signaled that they wanted something different than politics as usual, and the Supreme Court was high on their list of priorities."