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Early this year, political author John Greenya published Gorsuch: The Judge Who Speaks for Himself, following Justice Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the highest court in the land.
The title, inspired by a quote from the Justice himself during his confirmation hearings, seems to perfectly sum up this man. In response to Sheld Whitehouse (D-RI), Gorsuch said, “Nobody speaks for me. Nobody. I am a judge. I don’t have a spokesperson.”
Without a doubt, Justice Gorsuch quickly became an icon on the American Right. In fact, his nomination is touted as one of President Trump’s biggest accomplishments in office to date. That said, Justice Gorsuch is still a man of mystery. Even though he has already written for the Supreme Court – most notably the concurring decision for the Masterpiece Cakeshop case – Americans do not truly know how he might rule on cases down the road. Without a doubt, he is an open conservative shown in one form by his fierce writings against assisted-suicide, abortion, free speech on campus and protesting; however, he is also known as an incredibly fair judge and was nominated unanimously to a district court.
Justice Gorsuch grew up the son of Ann Gorsuch, later Burford, who was the controversial head of the EPA under President Ronald Reagan. The future Supreme Court Justice grew up with a passion for debate and facts. It was no surprise that he excelled in his extensive education. His resume is quite intimidating, including degrees from Colombia, Harvard and Oxford. He later clerked in the Supreme Court before working as an attorney in the private sector. He eventually was nominated to district court by President George W. Bush.
Even though Justice Gorsuch is incredibly gifted and wildly accomplished for a man who is just 50 years old, his fellow students and professors remembered something else about him. As author John Greenya compiled stories and testimonies about the newest Justice, there was one common theme. Neil Gorsuch, a staunch conservative throughout not only his entire education but really his entire life, could disagree and maintain the highest level of decorum. Greenya writes that Gorsuch “internalized” moral lessons throughout school. In fact, he even struggled when his mother found herself in political controversy. Many of his classmates did not shy away from stating that they hated his ideas, but somehow, someway, they just couldn’t seem to hate him.
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Perhaps Justice Gorsuch, long before he was a Justice, was so likeable because he listened to his opponent, a skill that will surely come in handy while sitting on the Supreme Court. In a speech included in Greenya’s book as an appendix, Gorsuch said to a room of students, “No reason, too, why we cannot conclude for ourselves that one side has the better of it, even if by a nose, and even while admitting that a disagreeing colleague could see it the other way.”
Of course, some combination of media, politics, blind chance and Justice Gorsuch himself will write the newest Associate Justice’s long-term legacy. For the moment, though, Justice Gorsuch will be known as a man who has immense dedication to this country and the ideals he believed founded it to critics and admirers alike. After all, he may speak for himself but he works for his country.
Order your copy of Gorsuch: The Judge Who Speaks For Himself here.
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