Scalia 2.0: A New Justice


Ivan Jimenez, News Editor


President Donald Trump congratulates Neil Grouch, his nominee to the Supreme Court. (The Atlantic)

“I am a man of my word, I will do as I say,” declared President Donald Trump on Tuesday night. And so he did.

On Feb. 1, 2017, President Donald Trump delivered on what was perhaps his most important campaign promise – nominating a conservative to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a masterfully-choreographed White House ceremony, the President announced his nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals (10th Circuit) to the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch, who’s endorsed by conservatives and progressives alike, promises to be a worthy replacement of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, according to the Washington Post.

In Feb. 2016, Scalia passed away in his sleep while on a hunting vacation in Texas. The issue of his replacement sparked heated debate during the 2016 Presidential Election.

Gorsuch, though, bears a remarkable intellectual resemblance to Scalia. Both Scalia and Gorsuch’s past rulings adhere to the philosophies of originalism and textualism (the latter’s conception can be attributed to Scalia Himself) in matters of interpreting the Constitution.

“Gorsuch, like Scalia…is a textualist and an originalist. But he is not dogmatic, and his credentials help explain why,” writes Robert P. George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.

As a result, most celebrate Gorsuch’s rich judicial background. As is common in American politics, though, some remain adamant in their opposition to the newly-appointed justice.

“Based on the long and well-established record of Judge Gorsuch, I will oppose his nomination,” professed Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Mass (D) to The Boston Globe.

Gorsuch’s opposers are disillusioned by his conservative stances in previous cases such as Hobby Lobby v. Victorville, and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, according to USA Today.

They also resent the Senate’s refusal to vote on former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

Their fears might be quelled, though. A Supreme Court justice, despite personal political leanings, won’t necessarily be dogmatic regarding court opinions.

It’s why valued justices rule on sole interpretations of the Constitution rather than personal bias. This leads to conservative justices affirming relatively liberal cases, and vice versa.

“A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is likely a bad judge,” Gorsuch explained in his acceptance speech, according to CNN.

Thus, his philosophy is laid bare – unbiased, objective rulings – Scalia Style.

Just as Antonin Scalia left a remarkable legacy in the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch promises to do the same.

It’s time for Scalia 2.0