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Local leaders discuss Gorsuch nod

January 31, 2017 11:53 PM

Stephen Gottlieb, the Jay and Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School, says Judge Neil Gorsuch has had decisions that lean toward eliminating or weakening regulations in business. That's a trend led by Chief Justice Roberts and the current court. Otherwise, Gorsuch has not tipped his hand much, however, "The Presidents and their staff know many things that the rest of us don't,” said Gottlieb.

Gorsuch, 49, is the same age as the man who he would replace, Antonin Scalia, when he was confirmed in 1986. Scalia became an Associate Justice under President Reagan. The conservative voice served until he was found dead 50-weeks ago, February 13, 2016, at a resort in Texas.

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Gorsuch was once a law clerk for former Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer" White and current justice Anthony Kennedy, who has been on the nation's highest court since 1988. Gorsuch, who graduated from Columbia in New York City and then Harvard, has served on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver since 2006.

"They're not really free as a judge to be as clear about their own views as they will be on the Supreme Court,” Gottlieb said.

As for social issues like Roe vs. Wade and gay rights, Gottlieb says those decisions are safe for now: "One nomination, replacing a conservative justice is not going to change the court on either of those issues. If Trump were to get two, it would depend on who died or resigned."

Statements by Capital Region Congressmen:

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam): "While the responsibility to review the President’s Supreme Court nominee falls exclusively on the Senate, it is my great hope that Senators from both parties will carefully scrutinize Judge Gorsuch's judicial record.

“After nearly a year playing political games to avoid appointing one of the most qualified candidates in the history of the Supreme Court, it is past time for Republicans to take this sacred responsibility seriously.

“Unlike the President’s Cabinet nominees, some of whom have omitted millions of dollars in assets from financial disclosures and even outright plagiarized written answers to Senators’ questions, the President’s nominee for this lifetime appointment must be held to the highest standards of openness, honesty, and transparency."

Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook): “I am extremely pleased with the nomination of US Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch is highly regarded as a legal scholar, experienced in practical application of the law and possessing the judicial temperament to decide cases based upon the Constitution and the law. As the youngest justice named in 30 years he will bring new energy and an appreciation for our constitutional system to the nation’s highest court. Judge Gorsuch is a great pick to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

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WNYT Staff

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