Trump’s Pick to Replace Scalia

Neil Gorsuch

It’s Neil Gorsuch. You can check out his profile on SCOTUSBlog here. As John Richardson noted earlier today, he’s not written any opinions on the Second Amendment, but he’s in the same mold as Scalia, except for not being very fond of Chevron Deference, which is fine by me. We don’t know exactly where he stands on the Second Amendment, but given his overall judicial philosophy, I’d find it doubtful he’d be against us. That will need to come out in the hearings.

Speaking of the hearings, I fully expect this to go nuclear, meaning the Republicans will have to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees the same as they were eliminated for lower court nominees by the Dems. I think they should do it, because they can be absolutely assured the Dems will do it if they control the Senate again in the future. They pretty much said they would. Don’t give GOP lawmakers room to be fools and unilaterally disarm.

It’s important to remember, Scalia was the strongest justice on the Court for the Second Amendment. Replacing him with someone just as solid is just not going backwards. I would have preferred someone with a record on the Second Amendment. We never had records on Roberts or Alito, but they both voted with us when it counted. Alito and Thomas are strong on this issue. Either Roberts or Kennedy, or both, are softer supporters. We need to get one more vote on there before we’ll be moving ahead.

UPDATE: NRA is endorsing the choice out of the gate. My guess is they have talked to him, and the speed of the release means they knew about it before it was announced.

13 thoughts on “Trump’s Pick to Replace Scalia”

  1. He’s looking like a good selection. He did have the felon / gun opinion.

    Love his opposition to Chevron.

  2. Why is it always assumed that because someone is a Good Conservative on Issues A, B, C, D, E and F, he/she just naturally will be Good on Issue G(uns)?

    A good measure of what people care about is, what they have talked about, and reportedly Gorsuch has never even talked about the gun issue.

    Are we doing a sort of a recast of the “Guns and Bibles” thing, where because someone has been a dependable fellow-traveler with bible-thumpers, we assume they must be a drop-dead gun guy, too? Are the issues really linked in any logical way? Or did we let Obama create the linkage for us?

    1. I have to partially modify my statement above that “reportedly Gorsuch has never even talked about the gun issue.”

      Earlier this evening, the NRA-ILA wrote in a release,

      Specifically, [Gorsuch] wrote in an opinion that “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”

      However, that is somewhat weasel-worded, though technically and semantically true. But, Gorsuch did not write that as his own opinion; he wrote it in quoting the Supreme Court majority opinion.

      At this time I have not seen the context of that in Gorsuch’s actual opinion cited, and I note that careful wording was used to give the impression that it was Gorsuch’s own, original statement.

      Sorry folks, I’ve just learned to be suspicious of people who create quotes while their fingers crossed behind their backs.

      1. The actual Gorsuch quote was,

        “the Supreme Court has held the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”

        The NRA-ILA used only a portion of Gorsuch’s sentence.

        A discussion may be found here.

      2. Given the massive resistance by Circuit Courts to Heller and MacDonald, I view it as positive that Gorsuch did regard those cases as binding.

        I also like the skepticism about Chevron deference. Given how long it takes cases to reach the Supremes, Obama stuff is going to be percolating for a long time unless Trump Justice Departments pulls the plug at lower levels. Hopefully, he will apply this skepticism to Appeals Courts refusing to apply Heller and MacDonald as well. Though that is a different doctrine from Chevron, the mindset could be the same.

    2. Cause Obama was able to solidify that linkage lile never before, and many people in the right, who claim to be pro gun, are all about conservative views first, gun rights second. See it all the time

    3. I think the problem is that the sets of people who hold these ideas aren’t entirely independent: if you know someone is a conservative, there’s a high likelihood that the person supports gun rights; similarly, if someone is a liberal, there’s a strong chance that the person supports “reasonable commonsense gun control”, up to and including complete bans.

      For day-to-day commentary, it probably doesn’t hurt to assume that someone who supports guns is also a conservative, and vice versa — the worst that can happen if you make a mistake is a bit of embarrassment. It can be a dangerous trap to fall into, though, when we’re voting for someone to support us, or selecting someone to sit on a court.

      (And this doesn’t even take into consideration that someone might prove to be consistent in defending liberty, but lousy on convincing others that they should consider liberty too. It’s my understanding that Justice Scalia occasionally persuaded his colleagues to vote in certain ways, and one of the major concerns I remember about Harriet Meyers being appointed to the position was that she was likely to be persuadable, rather than persuading.)

  3. Since there were only two candidates at the end, the NRA could have had two releases ready to go. No prior knowledge necessary.

    It’s the kind of thing the President, or any competent businessman, would do.

  4. The left, by forcing the nuclear option, is cutting their own throat. Because by forcing it now, on a moderate candidate, the republicans have it in place for the next supreme court nominee, which Trump is most likely going to be having. Possibly two, which means that the Democrats really screwed themselves over. They should let this one go, and not force the nuclear option until a possible next one, then they can fight tooth and nail on that one. Because Trump is certain to make that one a much more right leaning choice, if they already have only to get 51 votes.

    1. Exactly. Let them cut their throat here. Then when that bat Ginsburg and the idiot Breyer croak they can have less than no input. Then if that happens, maybe we can convince kennedy and thomas to retire and push them even further down the irrelevance line.

    2. I hope Trump has another appointment, but let’s not get our hopes up. Neither Ginsburg nor Breyer will leave the bench of their own accord while Trump is president. Stevens stayed on until he was 90.

      George W. didn’t have a single appointment in his first term.

  5. He was never likely to nominate a squish on gun rights.

    It’s the NEXT vacancy that’s the important one. Lots of good things can get cert with a possible 6-3 SCOTUS, and a reliable 5-4.

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