Recommended Readings

4/3/2017 – Behind Neil Gorsuch’s Non-Answers
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the diminutive liberal colossus of the Supreme Court, has built a distinguished record as a Justice, but her legacy as a nominee is more dubious. In her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in 1993, she refused to answer most questions about how, if confirmed, she would rule. In an oft-quoted phrase, she vowed to give “no hints, no forecasts, no previews.” Nominees have invoked this stonewall ever since. Last week, Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s choice to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia, proved an especially ardent follower of what has come to be known as the Ginsburg rule. read full story

3/20/2017 – What Does Originalism Mean to Judge Gorsuch?
Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court justices are an occasion for a national conversation about constitutional law and interpretation. Because Judge Neil Gorsuch is being billed as an originalist, his hearings this week are a great opportunity to ask him five pressing questions about that much-vaunted school of constitutional thought. read full story

3/20/2017 – How Dare You Question Our Precious Nominee?
It is an article of faith among Senate Republicans that everything liberals do is just goddamn awful, from the unelected left-wing justices who “legislate from the bench” to the blocking of Robert Bork in 1987 to the lame cries for equal treatment of everyone under the law. read full story

3/21/2017 – Gorsuch’s Nomination Is the Fruit of a Broken Confirmation Process
Now that we’re done making nice, here’s my question for Judge Neil Gorsuch: What campaign promises did you make to get this job, and do you intend to keep them? read full story

3/19/2017 – Viewpoints: Why splitting the 9th Circuit is a bad idea
The debate over whether to divide the 9th Circuit is a political masquerade in search of a principle. The principle should be just and fair decisions rendered as timely as possible. It’s time to remove the masks and reveal the facts. read full story

3/20/2017 – Gorsuch’s Selective View of ‘Religious Freedom’
As the Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Neal Gorsuch begin, I retain my impression that he is in his way a splendid fellow, intelligent and hard working, and, as near as I can tell, devoid of the streak of jack-in-office meanness that mars the legacy of his predecessor, Antonin Scalia. read full story

3/17/2017 – The “True Loyalty,” Political Connections, and Conservative Ties that Have Fueled Gorsuch’s Rise
In November 2004, Neil Gorsuch oversaw legal teams in Eastern and Central Ohio for the Bush-Cheney campaign. In an email to President George W. Bush’s Political Director Matt Schlapp, he cheered, “What a magnificent result for the country. For me personally, the experience was invigorating and a great deal of fun.” (The experience for up to 15,000 people unable to vote in Columbus, Ohio because lines stretched for hours was probably less invigorating or fun.) read full story

3/20/2017 – Neil Gorsuch does not belong on the Supreme Court
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. read full story

3/20/2017 – Dear Senator Bennet: What You Say Tomorrow Is More Important Than How You Vote
You are my senator. I am a fourth generation Coloradan. I live in Denver. I am a tenured professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. I met you at one of your fundraising events last fall, where I was honored to talk briefly with you and inspired by your remarks. And I was very proud to vote for you last November. read full story

3/20/2017 – Gorsuch: Picked for Court by Federalist Society?
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. Gorsuch came to Trump's attention during the campaign from a list of 21 potential Supreme Court candidates the two legal groups put together at his request. read full story

3/14/2017 – This Is How Neil Gorsuch Thinks
“A trucker was stranded on the side of the road, late at night, in cold weather, and his trailer brakes were stuck,” wrote appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, last August, in a dissenting opinion that is apt to come up at his confirmation hearings next week for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. read full story

3/13/2017 – Gorsuch May Be Supreme Court’s Most Religiously Motivated Justice
In a January interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Donald Trump promised a nominee for the Supreme Court that "evangelicals, Christians will love." In Neil Gorsuch, Trump has nominated a judge more religiously motivated than perhaps even the staunchest religious conservatives sitting on the Court today. His confirmation would place on this nation's highest court a man who has readily allowed the religious convictions of a few to govern the lives of all Americans. read full story

3/10/2017 – Qualifications for a federal judgeship: the ‘Minnesota way’
The question of what makes a good judge, and even an exceptional judge, is always a timely question. This question now occupies center stage here in Minnesota because there are two vacancies on our federal bench. Rep. Erik Paulsen has established a search committee chaired by Kathleen Blatz, retired chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Bert McKasy, of counsel at Lindquist & Vennum, former state representative, and former commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. read full story

3/9/2017 – What Brown can do for Democrats in examining Gorsuch
At Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, the judge, like all recent nominees, will try to avoid revealing much information about his approach to judging. Instead, he will promise not to “legislate from the bench,” to “apply the law and not make it,” not to be an “activist judge,” and not to allow his “personal views” to influence the outcome of cases. read full story

3/2/2017 – Neil Gorsuch should be required to answer questions
Senate Democrats should vote against the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, including by a filibuster, if he does not answer questions about his judicial philosophy. Gorsuch is 49 years old. If he remains on the Supreme Court until he is 90, the age at which Justice John Paul Stevens retired, Gorsuch will be a justice for 41 years until the year 2058. The stakes are thus enormous and the Senate and the American people should know what they are getting before anyone is given a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court. read full story

3/2/2017 – Postpone the Gorsuch Hearings
Within a few hours of Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death last year, Senate Republicans decreed that then-President Barack Obama could not fill his seat. Why? Because Obama had completed three years of his four-year term. The Supreme Court was too important. The voters, they contended, should decide Scalia’s successor through the proxy of the 2016 presidential election. Any other action, they insisted, would tarnish the constitutional legitimacy of the appointment. This transcendently important constitutional process, they warned, must not be rushed. read full story

2/28/2017 – Judge Neil Gorsuch: Likable, but dangerous
Given what I’ve read in the press, Neil Gorsuch seems like a nice person — the sort I wouldn’t mind grabbing a beer with. But confirming justices for lifetime positions on the Supreme Court should not — and cannot — be a popularity contest or about personality alone. Our Constitution demands that the Senate fully examine the record and judicial philosophy of the nominee. read full story

2/23/2017 – Gorsuch’s record does not paint him as a friend to women
The Feb. 19 front-page article “Gorsuch reliably right, but intensely attentive” relied on one case to try to paint Judge Neil Gorsuch as not predictably conservative. I helped represent the female victims in that lawsuit as a lawyer with the National Women’s Law Center. read full story

2/22/2017 – Ensuring judicial independence will require Senate independence
The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist once described the independent judiciary as “one of the crown jewels of our system of government.” That is because the judiciary, insulated by life tenure from elections, can provide a necessary check on the other two branches of government and uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans. read full story

2/23/2017 – Six Questions Senators Should Ask Neil Gorsuch
Senators love to talk. It’s listening that they can’t abide. This explains the maddening nature of most Senate hearings, especially those for nominees to the Supreme Court. Senators are so busy showing off how much they know, or posturing on issues they care about (which are often unrelated to the work of the courts), that the nominee often has little to do but sit there and appear interested. This, of course, is usually fine with the nominee, who has, in any event, been trained to say as little as possible. read full story

2/15/2017 – Neil Gorsuch could be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court
Last week, President Trump pleased conservatives when he nominated Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. He looks to have made good on his promise to appoint a conservative justice to the Court. Court watchers are now left to wonder: how conservative will Gorsuch be? Our analysis suggests that if confirmed, Gorsuch might be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court. read full story

Statement of Sen. Coons (D-Del.): The larger issue here is that judicial independence is at risk

2/10/2017 – Charles Schumer: Judge Gorsuch, We Won’t Be Fooled Again
Just three weeks in, the Trump administration has tested the limits of executive power, violated the separation of powers and shaken the very roots of the Constitution. A particular theme of President Trump’s first days in office has been contempt for the judicial branch as a check on his authority: He criticized individual judges, preemptively blamed them for all future terrorist attacks and ridiculed the court system as “disgraceful.” read full story

2/9/2017 – The Tricky Politics of Neil Gorsuch and President Trump’s Insults to Judges
Neil Gorsuch‘s road to the Supreme Court was always going to be tricky. Nominated by a man who has personally attacked judges when he’s worried they won’t agree with him, Gorsuch was going to have to tiptoe around President Donald Trump‘s disregard for judicial independence. But when Gorsuch spoke out against Trump’s judicial criticism during private meetings — and the President fired back on Twitter — it showed the stakes of the game on both sides. read full story

2/8/2017 – Key outside groups in the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation process
Shortly after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, opponents of the nomination gathered outside the courthouse for a demonstration organized by several left-leaning interest groups, including the Alliance for Justice, the Center for American Progress, People for the American Way, the Leadership Conference, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. read full story

2/6/2017 – President Trump’s Real Fear: The Courts

When President Trump doesn’t get what he wants, he tends to look for someone to blame — crooked pollsters, fraudulent voters, lying journalists. Anyone who questions him or his actions becomes his foe. Over the past few days, he’s added an entire branch of the federal government to his enemies list.

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2/7/2017 – Neil Gorsuch Needs 60 Votes
In a little more than two weeks, President Donald Trump has put an unprecedented strain on the Constitution. He’s unleashed a flurry of legally dubious executive orders, including his travel ban designed to keep people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering our country. read full story

2/6/2017 – Gorsuch Nomination Puts Spotlight on Agency Powers
The nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court raises the question about how his judicial philosophy might affect issues related to the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crime. Of course, one new justice — assuming approval by the Senate — will not necessarily change how the court rules. read full story – How Trump Chose His Supreme Court Nominee
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch’s road to a Supreme Court nomination included stops at a fancy law firm conference room, the dreary basement of a government office building, President Trump’s gilded penthouse in Trump Tower, the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom and a ride on a military jet. read full story

2/6/2017 – Reading Between the Lines for Gorsuch’s Views on Abortion
Some of the current members of the Supreme Court had written books before they were nominated. Remember “Civil Procedure in Sweden,” by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Or “Regulation and Its Reform,” by Justice Stephen G. Breyer? read full story

2/4/2017 – Gorsuch is no friend of Trump’s forgotten people
At his inauguration, Donald Trump promised that the forgotten people of this country would be forgotten no more. He has already broken that promise with his first Supreme Court nominee. Judge Neil Gorsuch has a record of denying relief to the most vulnerable and forgotten people in our country. read full story

2/3/2017 – Before the Gorsuch Hearings: Originalism and Textualism Hide Ideological Judgments Behind Claims of Objectivity
Now that President Trump has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to the Supreme Court, we will be hearing a lot about the proper role of a Supreme Court justice. In introducing Judge Gorsuch, for example, Trump said that he had sought a nominee who would “interpret [the Constitution and laws] as written.” Praising Trump’s choice, Sean Hannity noted that Trump was fulfilling his promise to appoint someone who would “strictly adhere to the original meaning of the words of the Constitution” and claimed that Gorsuch is not someone who will “legislate from the bench.” read full story

2/2/2017 – The Most Important Questions for Trump’s Justice Are About Democracy
Let me stipulate some important things at the outset. First, Judge Neil Gorsuch, from every indication, is a fine man, a fine judge, and would be a fine colleague for the eight Justices now on the Court. Jack Goldsmith of Harvard, a man of terrific judgment, tweeted last night that “Neil Gorsuch is immensely qualified for the Supreme Court -- an outstanding lawyer, and judge, and person.” read full story

1/31/2017 – The Irony of President Trump’s Supreme Court Nomination: Undermining the Rule of Law
Tonight, President Trump announced his nomination to the Supreme Court. In doing so, he ratified the inappropriate actions taken by Sens. McConnell, Grassley and others in the Republican Party who refused to give a confirmation hearing to the bi-partisan endorsed and highly credentialed nominee of President Obama, Judge Merrick Garland, Chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. read full story

2/1/2017 – Gorsuch is to the Right of Scalia on the “Chevron Doctrine”—Here’s Why it Matters
In preliminary looks at the record of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, reports have already suggested that he is more conservative than Justice Scalia was on the so-called Chevron doctrine. Sounds like a technical issue just for lawyers, right? Not so. read full story

1/26/2017 – How to kill a Supreme Court nomination
Derailing a president's choice for the US Supreme Court is difficult. But it has happened eight times in the last half-century, through the kind of Senate combat that led to the 1987 defeat of Robert Bork and administration missteps like the 2005 case of Harriet Miers. read full story

1/20/2017 – How President Trump will shape the federal courts
Appointments to the federal bench are often one of a president’s most significant and most lasting legacies. President Obama appointed more than 300 judges to the federal bench, altering the balance of several federal appellate courts during his eight years in office. read full story

1/13/2017 – Confirm Inga Bernstein for the District of Massachusetts
On July 30, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Inga Bernstein, a longtime private practitioner, for a judicial vacancy on the District of Massachusetts. Bernstein is a well qualified, mainstream nominee who enjoys the powerful support of Massachusetts Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. read full story

1/10/2017 – Can Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Be ‘Borked’?
It’s challenging, to say the least, to think of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as a bulwark against Donald Trump’s plans to place a clone of the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court to fill the panel’s vacant ninth seat. Yet that, in effect, is how Schumer described himself and his colleagues in an interview on January 3rd with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. read full story

1/1/2017 – Will Grassley pick up speed on Trump nominees?
Chuck Grassley is known for his impressive work ethic, for tirelessly answering questions at town halls and for never missing a Senate vote in 23 years. But, our senior senator has hardly been productive in approving judicial nominees as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. read full story

12/13/2016 – U.S. Senate should act on court nominees
With the election of Donald Trump, there appears to be an assumption in many corners that the unprecedented Republican obstruction of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and numerous other Obama nominees to the federal judiciary has somehow been validated. This assumption is wrong for several reasons. read full story

12/11/2016 – While gridlock grinds in Washington, justice suffers in Idaho
To procrastinate is human, but to really lose track of progress and what is right requires a concerted and warped federal government hell-bent on deferring to the politics of gridlock in lieu of justice. read full story

Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York
On July 30, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Gary Richard Brown, who has been a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York since 2011, for a vacancy on that court. read full story

12/8/2016 – Under Trump, the Federal Courts Will Be Up For Grabs
In a recent issue of Judicature, an academic journal for judges published by Duke University Law School, Timothy J. Corrigan, a federal district judge in Florida, reflected on “the most multifaceted, emotional, and challenging task a judge performs ” — sentencing convicted criminal defendants. read full story

12/2/2016 – Confirm Scott Palk for the Western District of Oklahoma
On Dec. 16, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Scott Palk, who served for nine years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Oklahoma, for a vacancy on that district court. read full story

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