These are some things to know about Supreme Court nominee Federal Judge Neil Gorsuch. He could replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Upon confirmation, Gorsuch will take the seat previously held by Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last February. Gorsuch currently serves as the judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Find out more about him below.
He has sided with Utah to defund Planned Parenthood
Reports show that just last year, Gorsuch supported the state of Utah in its decision to defund Planned Parenthood. His views on abortion are not well-defined, however, reports show that in his book, he mentioned Roe v. Wade, noting that the Supreme Court defined the fetus as a “person” as outlined by the 14th Amendment and wouldn’t have legalized abortions.
He’s defended Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland
Former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland as his Supreme Court selection; however, Senate Republicans blocked it. Reports show that in a 2002 article, Gorsuch criticized the Senate’s handling of judicial confirmations. He mentioned two candidates, one of them being Garland and said, “Some of the most impressive judicial nominees are grossly mistreated.”
He’s a supporter of religious freedom
According to Heavy, he believes in a broad definition of religious freedom. Their reporting also states that Gorsuch played a role in the landmark Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case in 2013, before it reached the Supreme Court and was decided the following year.
He’s been described as an echo of former Supreme Justice Scalia
“If Judge Gorsuch is confirmed, the court will return to a familiar dynamic… he shares Justice Scalia’s legal philosophy, talent for vivid writing and love for outdoors,” The New York Times writes.
Historically, he’s favored police officers
The Huffington Post reports that during his time as a judge, Gorsuch had a history of siding with police officers in cases. A few years ago, however, he argued that officers cannot take objects from a suspect’s pockets without concrete reasonable suspicion, stating that “the Fourth Amendment is not a game of blind man’s bluff."