An ocean of ink has spilled these past two days about President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacant seat on the US Supreme Court held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia – 10th Circuit Federal Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Both the opposition and the support for the confirmation of Mr. Gorsuch has been, with rare exception, bloviation with no substance and, frankly, filled with outright lies.
My raison d’être is to defend the Second Amendment right of the individual to keep and bear arms which is the right by which all other rights are defended.
I have been asked several times what Mr. Gorsuch’s position is on the Second Amendment and whether or not he supports the Second Amendment and whether or not his nomination is a good thing.
David J. Feder of the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson announced that he has taken a leave of absence from the firm in order to work full time on Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation. I have asked Mr. Feder several times whether or not Judge Gorsuch supports the Second Amendment Open Carry right defined in the 2008 Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller. A right the Supreme Court would subsequently apply to all states and local governments in 2010.
As of this writing Mr. Feder has not responded. This is not a good sign.
President Trump published a list of potential nominees for the Supreme Court during his campaign for President. A couple of the judges on his list had left little doubt that they support the Second Amendment, they said so in their decisions and dissents. They were not nominated.
Judge Gorsuch has not staked out a position on the Second Amendment. Not in any of his opinions he wrote, joined in, concurred in or dissented from during his time as a judge and not in any speech, article or other written document by him at anytime in his life.
And so my answer as to whether or not Mr. Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court is a good thing is “Time will tell.”
That said, I have read enough of his decisions to conclude that Judge Gorsuch is much more likely to vote alongside Justice Kennedy than he would have voted with Justice Scalia on social issues. Judge Gorsuch may even consistently vote to the left of Justice Kennedy on many social issues. As for the Fourth Amendment, Justice Scalia would often say that he is the criminal defendant’s best advocate on the Supreme Court because of his stalwart defense of the right. Judge Gorsuch however almost invariably sides with government violations of the Fourth Amendment.
Judge Gorsuch may be many things but he is not a clone of Justice Scalia. As for his position on the Second Amendment …
Time will tell.