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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Gorsuch Is a Test for Democrats in the Trump Era: Will they stand up tall, or let Republicans roll over them once again? (Politico, 03/20/17)
David Brock: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will raise his right hand before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democratic opposition must hold.... Denying Neil Gorsuch the Supreme Court seat that Republicans stole from Merrick Garland is the best way yet for Democrats to prove their newfound mettle.

GOP Belittled ABA Rating for Obama’s SCOTUS Nominees (People For blog, 03/20/17)
Paul Gordon: he ABA itself makes clear that its evaluation has nothing to do with a nominee’s judicial philosophy, an extremely important part of the Senate’s inquiry. the importance of the ABA rating is something that key Republicans have downplayed when considering the confirmation of a Democratic president’s Supreme Court nominee. That’s something to keep in mind when they play up the rating of a nominee from their party leader, Donald Trump.

Opinion: Latinos Should Oppose Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch (NBC News, 03/20/17)
Raul A. Reyes: there are sound philosophical and practical reasons for Latinos to oppose Gorsuch's confirmation. ... similarities with Scalia are a red flag. Scalia consistently ruled against the expansion of civil rights of minorities.... Gorsuch has been critical of progressives who waged legal battles for civil rights.

Two questions senators should ask Neil Gorsuch about natural law: The Supreme Court nominee’s moral views seem closely tied to his jurisprudence (Economist, 03/20/17)
Democracy in America by S.M.: Gorsuch then stressed that his writings “have been largely in defence of existing law” and are “consistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions in this area and existing law in most places.” A close look at Mr Gorsuch’s scholarship suggests these words of reassurance are less than reassuring. At several key points in “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia”, his 2006 book, Mr Gorsuch shows quite clearly that his “personal” views on the ethics of end-of-life questions are closely tied to his sense of how the courts should handle lawsuits arising out of them. Though he says elsewhere that judges must “ apply the law as it is”, not as they would like it to be, Mr Gorsuch’s natural-law lens appears inescapably coloured by ideological commitments.

Maybe eight is enough: The case against Neil Gorsuch (The Hill, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Lee Saunders, AFSCME: In several cases, Judge Gorsuch has put a thumb on the scale in favor of powerful institutions and against vulnerable individuals seeking fair treatment from the system.

The People’s Defense: Why Senators Must Reject Gorsuch (American Prospect, 03/20/17)
ILYSE HOGUE & LEAH GREENBERG: our organizations helped to deliver more than one million petitions to the Senate in opposition to Trump's nominee. Americans are fired up for a simple reason: They demand a fair and independent judiciary capable of standing up to an out-of-control president who threatens to trample our essential liberties. ... Gorsuch's history makes clear that he would ratify the most dangerous and discriminatory parts of Trump’s agenda.

What Does Originalism Mean to Judge Gorsuch? (Bloomberg News, 03/20/17)
Prof. Noah Feldman: Madison’s initial objection to the bank was that he and the other framers hadn’t given Congress the authority to charter a bank in the list of Article I, Section 8 powers. He was in a position to know what the framers’ intent was, because he was one of them -- indeed the most important. But he explained in 1815 that the acceptance of the bank over decades by all three branches of government with the “concurrence of the general will of the nation” had made it constitutional. If Madison wasn’t an originalist, why should judges be so today?... in his 5-4 opinion for the Supreme Court interpreting the Second Amendment to cover handguns, Justice Antonin Scalia ran roughshod over the explanatory part of the amendment. ... Most, and in fact almost all, of the court’s greatest rights decisions aren’t grounded in original intent .... Gorsuch reasoned in his anti-Chevron opinion that the courts should be especially careful about deferring to agencies’ statutory interpretation because the agencies are on such doubtful constitutional footing. But would he go further?

The Gorsuch Nomination: A Setback for Human Rights (Huffington Post, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Prof. Bruce Hay: There are compelling reasons to have drummed up loud opposition to Gorsuch, notably the theft of this Supreme Court seat by unscrupulous Republicans and the fact that Gorsuch’s views are far out of the judicial mainstream .... The consequences for human rights and civil liberties of Democratic neglect of the judiciary – which includes not only allowing the GOP to steal Merrick Garland’s seat, but also leaving 25 percent of lower court seats unfilled at the expiration of the Obama presidency – have been dire.

How Dare You Question Our Precious Nominee? Republicans broke every rule to block Merrick Garland. Now, they’re outraged that anyone would challenge Neil Gorsuch. (, 03/20/17)
Dahlia Lithwick: Senate Republicans took turns being angry that anything other than Scalia-era “originalism” be given voice in the jurisprudential universe, despite the fact that there is maybe only one “originalist” sitting on the Supreme Court. They were enraged that any nominee should have to sit and have his record scrutinized given that 10 years ago—before he was a judge—this Gorsuch fellow was confirmed with flying colors.

Why Gorsuch’s Alleged Sexist Classroom Comments Are So Troubling—and Revealing (, 03/20/17)
Mark Joseph Stern: they are not out of line with Gorsuch’s own opinions, which devalue the profound, constitutionally protected connection between women’s individual autonomy and economic equality. Gorsuch has already admitted that he holds corporations’ “religious freedom” in higher esteem then women’s liberty. So it is not at all surprising to discover that he also values corporate interests over a woman’s right to be free from pregnancy discrimination.... He told his students that “many women” use companies “in order to have a baby and then leave right away,” and that companies have a right to “protect themselves” from this deceptive behavior. In doing so, he legitimized a grossly sexist and offensive myth

How Trump's Supreme Court Pick Quietly Wipes Out Environmental Cases: Green groups may never get their day in court. (Mother Jones, 03/20/17)
Rebecca Leber: Throughout his career, Gorsuch has found creative ways of throwing judicial roadblocks in front of environmental litigation. In many instances, Gorsuch has ruled that environmentalist groups don't have what is called "standing" to bring a case. ... If Gorsuch's logic were applied to other cases, plenty of environmental arguments would be at risk, says Grab. "Judge Gorsuch's approach in this case is potentially worrisome to any organization that might want to challenge an agency's tightening of a regulation as not being comprehensive enough," she notes .... Gorsuch has also attempted to limit the ability of green groups to defend environmental rules in court.

Senators must press Gorsuch on campaign finance laws (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Ann Ravel: Senators must evaluate how Judge Neil Gorsuch will review laws intended to protect the integrity of government and the democratic process – and the next justice could provide the pivotal swing vote on future cases about money in politics.... The Citizens United ruling defied common sense and came to erroneous conclusions.... One case, in particular, raises questions about how Gorsuch will approach campaign finance laws. ... What is concerning is that he took the time to pen a concurring opinion to signal his openness to striking down other contribution limits by subjecting those laws to “strict scrutiny,” which would depart from decades of Supreme Court precedent.

We don’t need a truce in the judicial nomination ‘war.’ The Bork fight shows why. (Washington Post, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Mark Gitenstein: I served as chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Bork hearings, and I remain proud of my part in helping to defeat the nomination.... Bork, through his writings and his testimony, clearly signaled how dramatically he would shift the court to the right. Democrats didn’t “Bork” the nominee — he “Borked” himself. ... Bork was rejected by a vote of 58 to 42. ... the framers probably assumed that these struggles would be political. The first serious struggle over a Supreme Court nomination, George Washington’s choice of John Rutledge to be chief justice, was as political as you can get. Rutledge was defeated because of his position on the 1795 Jay Treaty with Britain.... Neil Gorsuch, should be questioned thoroughly by the committee on his jurisprudence. His opinions should be carefully examined by staff and senators. If senators are concerned about what Gorsuch says or even by his refusal to answer questions, they should vote accordingly. The worst thing they could do would be to preemptively abandon their constitutional role by declaring a “truce.”

The Judge Gorsuch who spoke in the Senate today is nothing like the man who wrote his opinions: Will the real Neil Gorsuch please stand up? (Think Progress, 03/20/17)
Ian Millhiser: there is also a rich tradition of conservative judicial restraint stretching back to the Nixon administration. It’s just not a tradition Gorsuch has participated in very much as a judge. The opinions that define Gorsuch’s tenure as a judge are primarily cases where he pushed for the courts to do more to intervene in policy disputes.

Neil Gorsuch — Judging Like It's 1868 (Law360, 03/20/17)
Priscilla J. Smith: there is a fiction emerging that "nice guy" Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, is a moderate. Let’s be real: he’s no moderate. Judge Gorsuch is a textualist in the vein of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and an original-application originalist. That means he applies the text of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution the way it would have been applied when adopted almost 150 years ago.... The Senate Judiciary Committee has an awesome task ahead of it. It should insist on answers to questions about Judge Gorsuch’s views of substantive due process and precedent. If Gorsuch is a textualist like he says he is, how can he uphold a constitutional right to birth control?

Former Gorsuch law student: He told class that women 'manipulate' employers' maternal leave (Daily Kos, 03/20/17)
Joan McCarter: A former student of Neil Gorsuch at the University of Colorado Law School has written to the Senate Judiciary Committee, describing a class lecture in which Gorsuch said that employers, and particularly law firms, should ask women job seekers their plans for having children in the future, suggesting that women are looking for jobs for the maternity benefits.... This new information—from just last year!—is extremely damning. For one thing, federal law says that these questions have no part in hiring decisions.

The High Court's High Stakes for Women: A former student's claims about Neil Gorsuch suggest a dangerous disregard for women's workplace rights. (U.S. News & World Report, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Emily Martin, National Women's Law Center: two former students of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch have alleged that in a "Legal Ethics and Professionalism" course last year, Gorsuch criticized female attorneys who become pregnant after accepting employment at law firms.... If Gorsuch in fact made these statements – and Sisk has provided documents showing she complained of these comments at the time, long before he was ever nominated to the Supreme Court – they are disqualifying in their disregard for women's equal treatment at work.

My Name Is on the SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling and Neil Gorsuch Alarms Me (TIME magazine, 03/20/17)
Jim Obergefell, Op-Ed: Had it not been for the thorough hearing given to nominee Robert Bork in 1987, revealing his extremist views on civil rights issues such as women’s health and the scope of the First Amendment, Justice Kennedy may have never had the chance to make those legal decisions that made our nation a little more equal.... we must again demand that the next justice appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States continue to uphold our Constitution — including equal protections for LGBTQ people under the law. ... President Donald Trump's nomination for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, can't be entrusted with this most essential responsibility. Throughout his career, Gorsuch has been critical of the court decisions that say the Constitution protects individual choice in matters of intimacy

Does Judge Gorsuch Believe in Liberty and Equality for All? His selective approach to constitutional originalism raises serious questions about his respect for the Second Founding after the Civil War. (The New Republic, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by David H. Gans, Constitutional Accountability Center: Not since the failed nomination of Judge Robert Bork in 1987 has a nominee been advanced because of his commitment to originalism. ... The problem is that Gorsuch’s record, reflected in his many opinions and non-judicial writings, suggests that he is a selective originalist, committed to following only some of the Constitution’s text and history—and, most damningly, ignoring the vital Reconstruction Amendments enacted after the Civil War.... His opinions, more often than not, take a narrow view of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees and an outsize view of the respect due to the states—even though the whole point of the Fourteenth Amendment was to impose limits on the states and ensure that they respected the liberty, dignity, and equality of all.

Gorsuch: Picked for Court by Federalist Society (Jost on Justice: Law & Justice Blog, 03/20/17)
Post by Kenneth Jost: Neil Gorsuch comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week as a Supreme Court nominee not so much from Donald Trump as from two influential conservative legal groups: the Heritage Foundation and the conservative-libertarian Federalist Society. ... As a candidate, Trump promised that his judicial nominees would "all [be] picked by the Federalist Society." That pledge was unusual and undesirable, according to Christopher Kang, the principal White House adviser on judicial recruitment under President Obama.... "A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge," Gorsuch said ... To apply Gorsuch's test, his record could be read to indicate that he is "very likely a bad judge." His rulings or dissenting opinions tilt strongly in favor of outcomes agreeable to a judge who reached the bench after a career steeped in conservative politics and law.... Gorsuch's call to reconsider the 30-year-old precedent that established so-called Chevron deference toward federal administrative agencies would be, in the present context, a boon to business and anti-regulatory conservatives.

Senate Rightly Rejected Bork, Must Scrutinize All Supreme Court Nominees (Huffington Post, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Judith E. Schaeffer, Constitutional Accountability Center: Anyone with the twisted views of our Constitution that Bork had, including of the constitutional guarantees of equality under the law and the equal dignity of all persons, as well as of the civil rights laws implementing those fundamental rights, has no place on the Supreme Court.... The American people have a right to know, for example, whether, for Judge Gorsuch, constitutional time stopped in the late 18th Century, or whether he can demonstrate fidelity to the whole Constitution, including the Reconstruction Amendments adopted in the wake of the Civil War that wrote guarantees of equality under the law for all persons into our nation’s charter.

Burden of proof rests on Trump's Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch (The Hill, 03/20/17)
Opinion by Elizabeth Wydra, Constitutional Accountability Center: Does Gorsuch have an ironclad commitment to rule according to the words and values enshrined in our Constitution and laws, or will he rule by the litmus tests that Trump and conservatives expect Gorsuch has already passed as a precondition of being nominated?

Neil Gorsuch could be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court (Washington Post, 03/20/17)
Profs. Ryan Black and Ryan Owens, Op-Ed: Our analysis suggests that, if confirmed, Gorsuch might be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court.... Gorsuch’s actual voting behavior suggests that he is to the right of both Alito and Thomas, and by a substantial margin.

Neil Gorsuch does not belong on the Supreme Court (Boston Globe, 03/20/17)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Op-Ed: When Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, giant corporations and their right-wing buddies spent millions of dollars to keep the Supreme Court seat open so that Donald Trump could fill the vacancy. It was only the latest step in their campaign to tilt our courts in favor of big corporations and the wealthy. Now, the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is their reward. Anyone who believes in a neutral Supreme Court guided by equal justice for all should oppose this nomination.... There is only one question that should guide us in that decision: whether the nominee will defend equal justice for every single one of us — rich or poor, black or white, female or male, gay or straight, popular or unpopular. Gorsuch’s record shows that he is not that nominee.

Neil Gorsuch Allegedly Said Women Abuse Maternity Leave. That’s A Big Problem. It sure sounds like he’s calling for sex discrimination. Not a good look for a Supreme Court justice. (Huffington Post, 03/20/17)
Emily Peck: Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, may have a sneaking sympathy for companies that discriminate against women in the workplace. ... most disturbing is the idea that Gorsuch may not truly support current law.

Gorsuch’s views on women disqualify him for a seat on the Supreme Court (Huffington Post, 03/20/17)
Nan Aron, AFJ: President Trump has nominated a man to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, who has a long history of expressing contempt and hostility toward women.

Judge Not: Neil Gorsuch Doesn’t Deserve to Be Confirmed to the Supreme Court (Washington Monthly, 03/20/17)
D.R. Tucker: Just as Scalia was the full embodiment of the Reagan vision on the Supreme Court, so too would Gorsuch fully embody the Trump vision, ensuring unequal justice under law for anyone not in Trump’s rarefied financial air.

Don’t Be Fooled, Gorsuch Is a Gift to the Radical Right — And Must Be Stopped (Huffington Post, 03/20/17)
Op-Ed by Jessica Adair, Stand Up America: The well-funded radical right managed to obstruct the constitutional process and hijack the nation’s highest court in order to install one of their own for a lifetime appointment. Judge Gorsuch would have the power to shape the confines of our rights and our democracy for generations. Fortunately, our senators have the power to shape his confirmation.

If Gorsuch is confirmed, the legitimacy of the US supreme court won't recover (Guardian News and Media, 03/20/17)
Russ Feingold: Republicans will attempt to complete their cynical political takeover of the US supreme court, launched last year when they failed to confirm or to even give a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland. ... Confirming Gorsuch would endorse and normalize unconstitutional political games.... And it is not just the supreme court that will be affected, as the strategy will be used to block appointments to lower courts.

The Case Against Neil Gorsuch: The Supreme Court nominee’s jurisprudence shows he values religious people’s beliefs above all else. (, 03/19/17)
Dahlia Lithwick: Gorsuch may or may not be a good judge, but there is no principled reason for him to have a hearing when Merrick Garland did not. ... His record reflects a pattern of systematically privileging the rights of religious believers over those of religious minorities and nonbelievers.