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MI Responds: Neil Gorsuch Confirmed to the Supreme Court

Governance Civil Justice

In Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court gains a colleague who will apply the law as written and the constitutional text according to its original meaning. Senate Democrats who opposed his confirmation displayed an internal inconsistency: on the one hand, they claimed to want a justice who would stand up to the Trump administration; but on the other, they objected to Justice Gorsuch's skepticism about undue judicial deference to administrative agencies--the so-called Chevron doctrine. In reality, in Justice Gorsuch we can expect a jurist who is committed to standing up to constitutional abuses by either the executive or legislature, regardless of the political party in charge. That's precisely the type of justice we should want.

—James R. Copland, Senior Fellow and Director, Legal Policy

Justice Scalia famously quipped that “campaign promises are—by long democratic tradition—the least binding form of human commitment.” However, after an election in which 1 in 5 voters cited the SCOTUS vacancy as the single most important factor in their electoral decisions, the confirmation of now-Justice Neil Gorsuch represents what is perhaps the most important kept campaign promise in recent political history. Gorsuch’s confirmation should be celebrated, not only by those who wish to see the late Justice Scalia’s advancement of originalism built upon; but also by those who wish to see the Court act as a check against executive overreach. In Gorsuch I expect we will see a justice committed to the rule of law, due process, and to the enforcement of the separation of governmental powers that makes our Constitution so uniquely beautiful.

—Rafael A. Mangual, Project Manager, Legal Policy

MI Responds features real-time commentary from MI scholars on breaking news and developing issues. 


James R. Copland is a senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute. Rafael A. Mangual is the project manager for legal policy.