Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel | Fernholz, Szafir: A worthy successor to Scalia

Matthew Fernholz and WILL’s CJ Szafir writing in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on why Judge Neil Gorsuch was a great pick for the United States Supreme Court.

“To many people — including those who disagreed with him — replacing Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court is a fool’s errand. In addition to his outsized personality and inimitable writing style, Scalia revolutionized the role of judges, making textualism and originalism mainstream methods of interpretation. These theories provide that when interpreting a statute or constitutional provision, a judge should be guided first and foremost by the text and original public meaning of the words, not by his political preference. 

Last month, President Donald Trump did as well as possible in trying to replace Scalia by nominating 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. No one has a crystal ball to conclusively say whether Gorsuch will succeed. All too often, judges who previously vowed to uphold the law have been seduced by the temptation to invoke their political preferences in a case or to be guided by the whims of public opinion polls. 

Fortunately, Gorsuch’s 10 years on the federal court of appeals provide a large enough sample size to instill confidence that his judicial philosophy will be one that respects the text and structure of the U.S. Constitution. His record on a wide range of issues has been impressive.”

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