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Friday round-up

Coverage of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court comes from Steven Mazie in The Economist, who observes that “Democrats may be hard-pressed to vilify the scholarly jurist, but their sense that he has been tapped for a stolen seat is certain to cloud his confirmation hearing,” and from Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley at Reuters. At Politico, Aidan Quigley reports on Gorsuch’s opposition to “progressive protesters” during his college years at Columbia University.

First Mondays (podcast) kicks off a new series on the nomination. At Bloomberg BNA, Rebecca Wilhelm looks at Gorsuch’s record in environmental cases, noting that “Gorsuch’s biggest impact on environmental law might come from his opposition to Chevron deference, which refers to a 1984 Supreme Court decision giving agencies wide latitude in deciding how to interpret their responsibilities under federal statutes.” At The Intercept, Alex Emmons discusses Gorsuch’s record in cases involving law enforcement, concluding that some of his opinions ‘disturbingly echo Trump’s aversion to limits on  law enforcement power.”

At The 74, Carolyn Phenicie surveys Gorsuch’s education cases “and how they could influence his views if he reaches the Supreme Court.” At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern examines the judge’s record in cases involving LBGTQ issues, concluding that for “a conservative, he may stake out some admirably unorthodox positions on the bench,” but “an embrace of LGBTQ rights will not be one of them.” At Bloomberg (video), Travis Lenkner discusses Gorsuch’s approach to business and finance cases. At NPR, Lauren Russell and Nina Totenberg look at “originalism,” an approach to judging embraced by Gorsuch that requires judges “to ‘look backward’ at what the Founding Fathers meant at the time they wrote and ratified the Constitution.”

General commentary on the nomination comes from Bill Blum at Truthdig, who argues that “Gorsuch is exactly the sort of Scalia-in-waiting we would expect from an extremist right-wing administration.” Politico offers 13 legal scholars a chance to weigh in on President Trump’s choice. In The Atlantic, Jeffrey Rosen suggests that at “a time when progressives are rediscovering the virtues of Madisonian checks on populist excesses and federal power, Gorsuch may be precisely the kind of bipartisan Jeffersonian justice the country needs.”

Coverage of the confirmation process comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR; Mark Hensch at The Hill, and from Jonathan Easley, also at The Hill, as well as Niels Lesniewsky at Roll Call. Advice and Consent (podcast) features a discussion of the process, including the possibility of a filibuster by Senate Democrats. Commentary comes from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Or.) in an op-ed for The New York Times, who sees “accepting this nomination as going along with a different nuclear option, one the Republicans have already exercised,” and Eugene Robinson, who argues in a column for The Washington Post that although “Democrats cannot stop Gorsuch from being confirmed,” “they can hearten and animate the party’s base by fighting this nomination tooth and nail, even if it means giving up some of the backslapping comity of the Senate cloakroom.”


  • At Slate, Rick Hasen argues that “in the short term, there’s one simple action that could make voting rights a bit more secure: Roy Cooper, the new Democratic governor of North Carolina, and the state’s new Attorney General Josh Stein should withdrawa petition for writ of certiorari pending at the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit’s decision striking down North Carolina’s strict voting law.”
  • At Prawfsblawg, Ian Bartrum proposes a a “possible structural reform” to address the “intense politicization of the Supreme Court,” suggesting that “cases could be heard and decided by panels consisting of some smaller number of Justices.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 3, 2017, 7:24 AM),