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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Editorials and Opinion


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Blinding hypocrisy in Gorsuch column (Billings Gazette [MT,WY], 03/09/17)
Shelley Thomson, Letter to the Editor: in Merrick Garland we had a wonderful candidate who did not receive a hearing or a vote. The seat was stolen from the Democratic president, and while it’s convenient to leave this detail out, it’s also intentionally misleading and dishonest. For those voters interested in fairness, ask yourself why, in Montana, we’re being inundated with paid advertisements endorsing a Supreme Court judicial nominee? ... Fagg insists that Gorsuch should be confirmed without delay. He appears to be holding the opinion that the principles of fairness do not apply to those that he does not endorse. The hypocrisy is blinding.

Who is Judge Gorsuch? (Just Security, 03/09/17)
Jennifer Daskal: it is fair to probe the issue – to figure out what positions he took as Principal Deputy, to seek to understand how much he pushed for and supported such broad assertions of executive authority (many of which were ultimately rejected by the judicial branch), and to assess whether these views reflect his current thinking on these critically important issues now. This is particularly true these days, in light of a President who claims total, unreviewable discretion of his immigration policy, demonstrates a willingness to assert national security justifications without pointing to any credible evidence in support, and has shown extreme contempt for anyone who disagrees with him — including judges, the media, and his own intelligence community. Given the current political climate, understanding Judge Gorsuch’s views on executive authority is of critical importance.

No cloture for Gorsuch: There are strong reasons for liberals as well as progressives to oppose Gorsuch. (Nation of Change, 03/09/17)
Op-Ed by Rob Hager: no other vote prior to the 2018 election, other than for war or another Supreme Court nominee, will be more consequential than the Gorsuch cloture vote. Democrats will define their utility as an opposition party on the basis of this Supreme Court appointment.... Compromise short of such a referendum is possible. There do exist ultra-conservative judges who, like Gorsuch, would vote against, on “strict construction” grounds, the liberal precedents they both dislike, but who, unlike Gorsuch, would also have the intellectual honesty not to pretend that overturning anti-corruption laws is also strict construction of a Constitution which nowhere provides any formulas for turning money into speech.

Neil Gorsuch and the First Amendment: Questions the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask (San Antonio Express-News [TX] , 03/09/17)
Clay Calvert: An obvious question for Judge Gorsuch is his view of the court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. ... As the director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida, I would like to suggest at least three other timely and vital questions he should be asked about speech rights .... does the First Amendment protect a person’s right to record police officers doing their jobs in public places?... Gorsuch thus should be asked: “What, if any, limits are there on the First Amendment right to engage in political speech in public spaces, including streets, sidewalks and parks?” Finally, I’d ask Gorsuch for his views about the First Amendment right to offend.

Letter to the editor: Oppose Neil Gorsuch (Camden Herald [Rockland, ME], 03/09/17)
Sarah Holland: Americans should be concerned about the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the position of Supreme Court Justice.... He has a history of favoring religious rights over civil rights, and corporate rights over individual rights with the most notable example being the Hobby Lobby case.... with Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice, corporations would become more powerful and hold more influence over our government, existing laws involving everything from civil rights, voting rights, environmental protections, labor standards, reproductive rights and more could be reversed.

Gorsuch would overreach into women's lives (Havre Daily News [MT], 03/08/17)
Martha Stahl, Op-Ed: I’m gravely concerned about President Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. When it comes to checking extreme politicians’ overreach into our most personal health care decisions, I hope both of Montana’s senators will prioritize women and strongly oppose his confirmation.

No deal, no peace: Take the high road on court nominee -- but with a catch (Bucks County Courier Times [PA], 03/08/17)
Guest Opinion by Jonson Miller: Senate Republicans, led by John McCain, showed their hand when they went on to say they would refuse to hear any nominations from Clinton at all if she won....Democrats should offer Republicans a normal nomination process free of filibustering and other delay tactics. But they should do so only in exchange for a Senate resolution stating unequivocally the responsibility of the Senate to consider nominees regardless of when their nominations come in a president's term. If Republicans refuse this deal, then, by all means, wage war.

Commentary: Trump’s rubber stamp on Supreme Court would threaten voting rights (Orlando Sentinel [FL] , 03/08/17)
Guest Columnist Ben Monterroso, Mi Familia Vota: Donald Trump’s election delivered a new line of attack against equal access to voting, not just with his unsubstantiated voter fraud claims, but because of his pick to head the U.S. Department of Justice: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.... Gorsuch has likened himself in judicial philosophy to Scalia. If that is true on voting rights, we have much to fear. In 2013, Scalia led the court’s 5-4 vote decision to dismantle the core provision of the Voting Rights Act ... we urge the Senate to reject Gorsuch.

Judge Neil Gorsuch: High-Minded “Textualist” Or Big Business’ Best Friend In Robes? (American Constitution Society Blog, 03/08/17)
Simon Lazarus, Constitutional Accountability Center: senators can probe the pattern of Judge Gorsuch’s opinions favoring business litigants over individual consumers and workers that has led business legal advocates to read his record to “suggest that his confirmation would restore the pro-arbitration direction of the Court [before Justice Scalia’s death cost the conservatives their majority]).” More broadly, zeroing in on arbitration will enable senators to scrutinize the bona fides of the credo, “textualism,” that he, echoing former Justice Scalia and many other conservatives, repeatedly touts as the core of his judicial philosophy. ... Probing Judge Gorsuch’s forced arbitration views can provide a basis for assessing whether he would consistently respect the text and history of laws, or check that approach at the Supreme Court’s front door when business interests point in the opposite direction.

What Senate Democrats should ask Judge Gorsuch (The Hill, 03/08/17)
Op-Ed by Profs. David L. Sloss and Martin S. Flaherty: Justice Scalia’s silent concurrence in Medellín demonstrates that his originalism was not principled, but ideological. He was perfectly willing to jettison his professed commitment to originalism in cases where an originalist approach would yield results contrary to his conservative political agenda. That is why Senate Democrats should ask Judge Gorsuch whether he is prepared to apply the treaty supremacy rule in conformity with the original understanding. His answer will reveal a good deal about whether he is a principled originalist or another ideologue relying on history as he would like it to be.

Concerned about Supreme Court nominee (Independent Record [MT], 03/08/17)
Op-Ed by Martha Stahl: I’m gravely concerned about President Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. When it comes to checking extreme politicians’ overreach into our most personal healthcare decisions, I hope both of Montana’s senators will prioritize women and strongly oppose his confirmation.

Dark money backing Gorsuch post (Missoulian [MT], 03/08/17)
Bob and Ellen Knight, Letter to the Editor: Recent TV ads extolling Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, and inappropriately slamming U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, are sponsored by the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN).... We thank Tester, who takes his constitutional “advice and consent” duty seriously. Unfortunately, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines declined this duty, refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland. He now, however, eagerly endorses the JCN-supported nominee. Thorough, thoughtful questioning by real people like Tester should decide these issues. Not dark money and corporations,

Oppose Gorsuch for Supreme Court (Bangor Daily News [ME], 03/08/17)
Sarah Holland, Letter to the Editor: Despite the overwhelming public opinion against big money in politics and calls to “drain the swamp,” Gorsuch supports increasing corporate influence in politics, suggesting that donating to a politician is a “ fundamental” right that ought to be afforded the highest form of constitutional protection, which is known as “strict scrutiny review.” Furthermore he has a history of ruling in favor of concentrating corporate power and wealth

Why Trump’s Conduct Means that the Gorsuch Hearings Cannot Go Forward (Huffington Post, 03/08/17)
Elliot Mincberg: there is another reason, related directly to the Trump administration’s conduct concerning the Gorsuch nomination, why the hearings must be postponed: the improper and unprecedented failure of the administration to even respond to bipartisan requests about Gorsuch’s record as a high-ranking government attorney under the Bush administration.

Neil Gorsuch Must Answer the Questions Merrick Garland Was Denied: Democrats should require Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to respond to basic questions about his judicial philosophy and views on past cases. (American Prospect, 03/08/17)
Dorothy Samuels: It’s all part of a full court press to install Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat that Republicans effectively stole from Barack Obama with their unprecedented refusal to even consider his nominee, Merrick Garland, another widely respected—and far more moderate—federal judge. ... shifting attention from the less appealing qualities that won the favor of Trump and his Federalist Society vetters—namely, Gorsuch’s extremely conservative judicial record and philosophy. ...A justice who answers substantive questions about an earlier case before being confirmed is in no different position from a current justice whose prior record is already known. Note, too, that recent nominees’ objections to disclosing their views about important principles and past cases has been selective. ... It’s an unsupportable dichotomy, especially for a nominee who presumably passed several declared Trump litmus tests ...

Letter: Gorsuch too extreme to be on Supreme Court (Gazette) (Charleston Gazette [WV] , 03/07/17)
Marty Amerikaner and Linda Spatig: America needs a Supreme Court nominee who is exceptionally qualified, independent and free of extreme ideological baggage. Sadly, Neil Gorsuch’s nomination fails this standard — due to both his record and the nomination process. ...Perhaps most glaring to those outraged by the premise that “corporations are people” was his position in the Hobby Lobby case.... We urge Senators Manchin and Capito to vote “no” on this nomination, and push the president to choose from among the eminently qualified justices who are free of extreme ideological baggage.

Letter: GOP abdicates its moral and civic responsibilities (Bend Bulletin [OR], 03/07/17)
Shawna Smith: We have watched, bewildered, as you scold the Democrats for their reluctance to confirm Neil Gorsuch, after you set the precedent with your childish refusal to even consider Barack Obama’s objectively qualified nominee. The hypocrisy is truly mind-boggling, and yet you continue to clutch your metaphorical pearls and declare that you can’t imagine why the Democrats would do such a thing.

OPINION: Trump’s SCOTUS nominee no friend to working people (Missoulian [MT], 03/07/17)
Al Ekblad, Montana State AFL-CIO: Working Montanans should be deeply concerned by President Trump’s choice for the U.S. Supreme Court seat. Federal Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record shows he’s comfortable using the law to enrich Wall Street bankers and trampling the rights of working people.... If confirmed, he would likely continue to endanger important protections for workers, as well as clean air, water and basic safety regulations for food and medicine. He’s demonstrated he will represent corporate interests over everyday people at a time when America needs a justice who will protect the rights of all of us.

Gretchen Schuldt: Sen. Baldwin is right: Gorsuch is the wrong choice for SCOTUS (Capital Times (WI), 03/07/17)
Gretchdn Schuldt, Wisconsin Justice Initiative: in naming his first justice for the Supreme Court, something changed. Trump decided in favor of employers, corporate interests and Wall Street and against workers and families in Wisconsin and around the country. Sen. Baldwin has taken a stand against confirming Neil Gorsuch, an extremist who would erode some of our most fundamental rights and protections. That’s a fact, and it’s why all senators must look closely at his record as they proceed to weigh the Gorsuch nomination.

Commentary: Neil Gorsuch's Gay "Friends" Won't Save Us on the Supreme Court (The Advocate, 03/07/17)
Katherine Stewart and Matthew Stewart: Gorsuch’s rulings on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and other cases give reason to believe that, notwithstanding his “colorful” pals, Gorsuch is likely to place the religious “conscience” of people and corporations above the rights of LGBT Americans and others. But there’s an even stronger reason for such thinking, and it to has to do with a core aspect of his development as a legal scholar.

My opposition to Neil Gorsuch is personal (Washington Post, 03/07/17)
Op-Ed by Matt Witt: Gorsuch wrote a book in 2006 opposing state laws that allow people with terminal illnesses to decide the timing and terms of their final days.... given the experience of families such as mine, he should not be elevated to the Supreme Court, where he could impose his personal beliefs on those who do not share them.... The arrogance of Gorsuch’s position on this issue alone ought to disqualify him from serving on our nation’s highest court, which has the sacred duty to ensure liberty and justice for all.

Gorsuch's record on women's rights disturbing (Montana Standard, 03/07/17)
Op-Ed by Martha Stahl: I’m gravely concerned about President Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. When it comes to checking extreme politicians’ overreach into our most personal healthcare decisions, I hope both of Montana’s senators will prioritize women and strongly oppose his confirmation.

Karen Heck: We need patriots, not nationalists: It is every citizen's duty to stand up for the rights of all Americans. (Kennebec Journal [ME] , 03/07/17)
"I’m tired, tired of fighting for Supreme Court appointees who consider women and children equally as valuable as men and who believe all of us are more important than corporations. The nomination of Neil Gorsuch is pretty much a mirror of the nomination 30 years ago of Robert Bork and of too many of nominations in between."

Gorsuch doesn't fit the bill (St. Louis American, 03/07/17)
Martin Rafanan, Letter to the Editor: Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court Judge Gorsuch, who's defied the Constitution and would be devastating to civil rights, voting rights, and working rights. Gorsuch has an abysmal record on police brutality and workplace discrimination in particular. We need a Supreme Court justice who will respect and protect the rights guaranteed in the Constitution, and Judge Gorsuch simply doesn't fit the bill. He cannot be confirmed.

Real People, Real Lives: The Harm Caused By Judge Gorsuch (People For blog, 03/06/17)
Paul Gordon: These stories are in addition to the individuals already included in the earlier version of this report

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Our water must be protected (News Herald [Panama, FL], 03/06/17)
Col. J. D. Koutsandreas: he is trying to get Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court who is a far right attorney. That way when his legislation goes to the court, he is assured of a win .... Neil is a very talented attorney but it is environmental regulations for clean water, clean air and a healthy beach and seafood that we need here at Panama City.

Judge Gorsuch Ruled Twice Against Transgender Rights. Confirmation May Give Him A Third Chance (American Constitution Society Blog, 03/06/17)
Yuvraj Joshi, Lambda Legal: Judge Gorsuch’s most recent rejection of transgender rights came in 2015, by which time several federal courts had already issued decisions supporting coverage for discrimination against transgender individuals as sex discrimination.

The Gorsuch Nomination (New York Times, 03/06/17)
Marge Baker, People for the American Way, Letter to the Editor: In the case of a worker electrocuted because of inadequate on-the-job training, Judge Gorsuch in his dissent made clear that he would have ruled for the company. He argued against a trucker fired for not obeying an order that could have killed him. He would make it harder for those wronged by Wall Street and corporations to band together to obtain relief. Far from a mainstream nomination, we must see Judge Gorsuch for what he represents: an extreme, dangerous assault on the well-being of working people.

Angus King needs to pay some attention to the state of the nation before deciding on SCOTUS (Daily Kos, 03/06/17)
Joan McCarter, Senior Political Writer for Daily Kos: There's a very strong case for postponing action on the Gorsuch nomination because of all of those things and more. Democrats—including King—need to be the voice of reason here. They need to do everything in their power to force a slow-down of this process. Because the Supreme Court is that crucial. Because what the Senate does now—in either enabling or obstructing Trump—will reverberate for generations.

Gorsuch will not improve Supreme Court (Monterey County Herald [CA], 03/05/17)
Catherine Metz, Letter to the Editor: The Supreme Court must be filled by people who judge impartially, guided by our Constitution. Unfortunately, Neil Gorsuch, cannot be trusted to protect clean air and water. His record shows that he will limit the access of everyday Americans to the courts and prevent agencies like the EPA from fulfilling their mission and doing their job to protect our air, water and health. Please join me in calling on Sens. Harris and Feinstein to oppose Gorsuch’s nomination.