Conservatives are celebrating Judge Neil Gorsuch’s first dissent as a member of the United States Supreme Court. The newly appointed Justice joined with Judge Clarence Thomas in filing the dissent in a 7-2 ruling for the case of Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board.
The situation involved a dispute over the process surrounding the appeal of a federal census’ worker’s employment. The majority opinion reversed and remanded a D.C. Circuit Court decision that favored the petitioner, Perry.
The case, that essentially sought to create new legislation through the court, was decided on Friday. Gorsuch’s dissension was both eloquent and to the point. His words would have made the writers of the Constitution proud.
Gorsuch's 1st dissent:
Since David Souter’s duplicity, conservatives have been wary of judicial appointees who claim conservative ideals but regularly vote with liberals. His dissent proves that Gorsuch will not be one of those.
With sterling legal and academic credentials, George W. Bush appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in 2006. Gorsuch also clerked for Justice Byron White and Anthony Kennedy before becoming a judge.
Those that know him best say that he is a keen thinker with an amazing talent for judicial writing. His opinions are known for their clarity. He writes distinctively in order to make his decisions and reasoning crystal clear.
During his time on the bench, he has demonstrated his commitment to the law. Like Scalia, who he replaced, Gorsuch is a textualist. He subscribes to the belief that statutes should be read according to their plain text, not through the “what if” scenarios liberals love to present.
Gorsuch also thinks that criminal law should be specific, and he has strong views on leftist efforts to purge religion from all public arenas and spaces.
Gorsuch participated in the Hobby Lobby Stores v Sebelius case. He sided with the company and its owners when writing a concurrence in the en banc 10th Circuit. Basically he said that the Affordable Care Act’s (aka Obamacare) provision for contraception violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In other significant cases that deal with religious expression, specifically for Christians, Gorsuch has proven himself pro-worship. Issues such as public displays of prayer, the ten commandments in government buildings, and other demonstration of faith show exactly how he will interpret the establishment clause.
The new Justice’s writings are both compelling and thoughtful. He closely echoes Scalia’s views and opinions, which made him a natural successor.
Justice Gorsuch has a proven track record that is tough on the death penalty too. Petitioners pursuing relief through federal habeas corpus should look elsewhere. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act established in the 90’s leaves little room in the qualification for relief. Experts believe that his appointment won’t change the Court’s previous position on criminal defendants.
In his first dissent, Gorsuch’s powers of composition were fully evident. Speaking about the case that would have created a “statutory fix,” the newest Justice proclaimed,
“Mr. Perry’s is an invitation I would run from fast. If a statute needs repair, there’s a constitutionally prescribed way to do it. It’s called legislation. To be sure, the demands of bicameralism and presentment are real and the process can be protracted. But the difficulty of making new laws isn’t some bug in the constitutional design; it’s the point of the design, the better to preserve liberty.”
Gorsuch went on to explain that the petitioner wanted the court to “tweek a congressional statute” so that it might work a little better. However, he said that “taking up Mr. Perry’s invitation” to enact the fix should be declined.
Gorsuch repeated that it was the job of congress to change statutes, not the court’s. He added that he would “just follow the words of the statute as written.”
The clarity and legal authority Gorsuch exudes is a welcome relief to conservatives.
His appointment to the Supreme Court was fraught with challenges. Liberal lawmakers knew that the election would have a ripple effect and fought diligently to prevent a Trump presidency, and its subsequent conservative appointments.
Fortunately for American liberty, the U.S. now has a majority of conservatives who will protect personal freedoms on the supreme Court. Good job, Mr. President.