Judge Gorsuch ‘Honest, Principled And Committed To Safeguarding The Rule Of Law’

FORMER CLERKS: ‘If Confirmed, We Are Confident That Judge Gorsuch’s Independence … Will Never Waver’


39 JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERKS: ‘Our Political Views Span The Spectrum… But We Are United In Our View That Judge Gorsuch Is An Extraordinary Judge’

39 JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERKS: “Each of us has had the privilege of serving as a law clerk to Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. We came to his chambers from sixteen different law schools in four different time zones. Following our time in his service, we have gone on to every part of the legal profession. Some of us practice in law firms or elsewhere in the private sector. Others work for nonprofits or in government service. Still others teach law. Our political views span the spectrum… But we are united in our view that Judge Gorsuch is an extraordinary judge. The undersigned are every single one of Judge Gorsuch’s former clerks not currently clerking for a Justice. All of us strongly support his confirmation as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.” (39 Former Law Clerks, Letter To Sens. Grassley & Feinstein, 2/14/17)

  • CLERKS: “Judge Gorsuch’s opinions also demonstrate the courage that is crucial for a Supreme Court Justice. He is committed to respecting the limits that the Constitution imposes on governmental power. He has steadfastly protected the freedoms embodied in the Bill of Rights. He has policed the separation of powers, understanding that it serves as a bulwark of citizens’ personal liberties. And he has never feared staking out a principled position in defense of those liberties — even if he had to do so alone. If confirmed, we are confident that Judge Gorsuch’s independence — grounded in the limited powers granted to the judiciary by the Constitution — will never waver.” (39 Former Law Clerks, Letter To Sens. Grassley & Feinstein, 2/14/17)
  • CLERKS: “Judge Gorsuch is a remarkable judge and a remarkable man. We are certain that, if confirmed, Judge Gorsuch would serve his country admirably as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.” (39 Former Law Clerks, Letter To Sens. Grassley & Feinstein, 2/14/17)
  • CLERKS: “We can also attest to his prodigious skill at the job. Judge Gorsuch approaches every case — large or small — with tremendous care and discipline. He reads the language of the relevant statutory or constitutional text with exactitude. He treats the parties respectfully, thoroughly considering their advocates’ arguments with an open mind. And when called upon to write, he aims to produce a thoughtful opinion that sets forth a straightforward rule of decision, fairly explains to the parties how the court resolved their case, and clarifies the law for the future. Indeed, Judge Gorsuch is widely known as one of the best writers on the bench. In his ten years as a judge, he has penned over 175 published majority opinions and 65 published dissents and concurrences — not to mention the speeches he has delivered and articles he has authored. In working closely with him on those opinions, we were in awe of his instinct for narrative, his care for structure, and his inimitable personal voice. He made all of us better writers — and so better lawyers.” (39 Former Law Clerks, Letter To Sens. Grassley & Feinstein, 2/14/17)

JUSTICE SCALIA & JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERKS: Judge Gorsuch ‘A Brilliant Thinker, A Fair And Independent Judge And A Clear And Effective Communicator Of Important Ideas’

MICHAEL E. KENNEALLY, MATT OWEN, & ERIC TUNG: “In choosing a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, the president could not have made a better choice than Judge Neil Gorsuch. We can say that with confidence because we have had the honor to serve as law clerks to both men. … Although no one can replace the Justice, we can think of no one more worthy of his seat than Judge Gorsuch. He is a brilliant thinker, a fair and independent judge and a clear and effective communicator of important ideas.” (Michael E. Kenneally, Matt Owen And Eric Tung, Op-Ed, “A Principled And Courageous Choice” U.S. News, 2/13/17)

  • KENNEALLY, OWEN & TUNG: “Judge Gorsuch's opinions reflect the principle Justice Scalia spent his career defending: that in a democracy, the people's elected representatives, not judges, get to decide what laws we should have. In a lecture last year, Judge Gorsuch paid tribute to that ‘great project of Justice Scalia's career,’ reminding us of ‘the differences between judges and legislators’ and of judges' duty ‘to apply the law as it is . . . not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.’ Justice Scalia couldn't have said it better himself. There is a kind of popular cynicism today in sophisticated legal circles that principled judicial decision-making of that kind does not exist – that judges are just politicians in robes. We know better. We know from our time in Denver that Judge Gorsuch sincerely believes judges can and must decide cases fairly and independently based on the law, without consulting their private views. His chambers are infused with that principle. It is no surprise, then, that Judge Gorsuch has gained a wide reputation as a principled and deep-thinking judge.” (Michael E. Kenneally, Matt Owen And Eric Tung, Op-Ed, “A Principled And Courageous Choice” U.S. News, 2/13/17)

JUSTICE KAGAN & JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: Judge Gorsuch Has ‘A Fierce Commitment To The Rule Of Law’

JASON MURRAY, FORMER CLERK FOR JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN: “Well, Judge Gorsuch is, as I think everybody who knows him will tell you, a brilliant man, but a man of great integrity, humility, thoughtfulness and a careful judge admired by liberals and conservatives alike who are familiar with his judicial record.” (MSNBC’s “Live with Tamron Hall,” 2/01/2017)

  • MURRAY: “I had the pleasure of serving year-long stints as a law clerk for both Gorsuch (at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit) and Kagan (at the Supreme Court). Putting the two of them in a room together would be a recipe for vigorous — though congenial — political disagreement. But despite these differences of politics, both my former bosses share a profound commitment to the rule of law. That commitment means that all litigants before them are treated evenhandedly, and that the cases they hear are judged only on the strength of the legal arguments, without regard to partisan politics.” (Jason Murray, “Liberals Should Welcome Gorsuch,” The Washington Post, 2/8/17)
  • MURRAY: “He's the kind of person who, he's incredibly thoughtful, and can sort of stand toe-to-toe with the best and brightest. What always stands out to me is his ability to disagree and articulate his views in not only a thoughtful way but also a respectful way. And when I was clerking for Judge Gorsuch he always told us if we weren't disagreeing with him, we weren't doing our jobs. He's not the kind of person to shy away from disagreement or controversy. He’s open-minded. He wants to hear sort of opinions of all stripes. And he takes information from any source he can get it to reach his decisions. But he's not afraid to stand toe-to-toe with anybody when push comes to shove. (MSNBC’s “Live with Tamron Hall,” 2/01/2017)

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR & JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: Judge Gorsuch Has ‘A Deep Reverence For The Constitution And The Rule Of Law’

JANIE NITZE: “[T]hree things stick out to me from my time as clerk for him. One is his real deep reverence and love for the Constitution and the rule of law, which came forth on a daily basis. Two was his deeply held belief in the role of the judge in our constitutional framework, which is that the judge is not there to play politics. The judge is there to enforce a law that Congress wrote, read the text of the Constitution that the Founders drafted for us. And three, I would say he’s just an incredibly kind, decent, good man.” (Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” 1/31/2017)

  • NITZE: “I think folks have already spoken a lot about his academic credentials, which are of course impeccable, and his intellectual prowess. I can speak to what it was like being a clerk for him ... I just had the great fortune to clerk for someone who had a deep reverence for the Constitution and the rule of law that we saw on a daily basis, someone who thought that the judiciary was not a place for politics. It was a place for enforcing the words of statutes, the words of the Constitution. And finally just a man who is incredibly kind, decent, really a great boss overall.” (Fox News’ “Hannity,” 2/01/2017)
  • NITZE: “[H]e is from the West and he does have this sort of western grit to him, sort of this intangible, that is hard to really quite explain. But I think that gives him a spine of steel in a way that will serve him well in the sense that there is a true independence to him that runs through his personal life and his judicial philosophy.” (Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” 1/31/2017)
  • NITZE: “I think he is a mainstream conservative judge. He is an originalist, a textualist, those are mainstream judicial philosophies, and he is advised by those philosophies in all of his adjudication.” (Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” 1/31/2017)

JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: ‘Every Citizen Should Hope For Supreme Court Nominees That Are Decent, Caring, And Honorable People. On That Score, The Country Can Do No Better Than Judge Neil Gorsuch’

JONATHAN PAPIK: “Having had the privilege to serve as a law clerk to Judge Gorsuch, I can personally attest to his legal brilliance. But if attention on Judge Gorsuch is focused solely on his jurisprudence, the public will not have a full picture of him, for a complete picture of Judge Gorsuch cannot be painted without a consideration of his character — that he is a principled, hard-working, humble and kind man.” (Jonathan Papik, Op-Ed, “Judge Neil Gorsuch Is A Man Of Integrity And Compassion,” Morning Consult, 2/10/17)

  • PAPIK: “While a great amount of ink could be spilled writing about Judge Gorsuch’s character, it was most clearly illustrated to me when I learned that my grandfather, with whom I was very close, had suffered a serious stroke. Before I could even finish telling Judge Gorsuch about this, he pointed at the door and said one word: ‘Go.’ I started to say something about finishing work I needed to complete, but he would have none of it. He explained that this time with my family was too important and that I should head home immediately. I followed Judge Gorsuch’s direction. That night, I was able to visit with my grandfather one last time before he was no longer able to communicate.” (Jonathan Papik, Op-Ed, “Judge Neil Gorsuch Is A Man Of Integrity And Compassion,” Morning Consult, 2/10/17)

JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: Judge Gorsuch ‘Lives By The Principle That “Justice Is Blind”’

JESSICA GREENSTONE: “Shortly after I posted an article supportive of Judge Neil Gorsuch on Facebook, I received queries and demands asking about his opinion … [on] pressing social issues. One commenter vented frustration that despite having read numerous articles about Gorsuch, he could not find specifics on his views. Although I worked closely with Gorsuch for a year as one of his law clerks, and spent social hours with the judge, his family and other clerks, I also struggled to come up with an answer. And then I smiled because I realized the judge lives by the principle that ‘justice is blind.’ He did not bring preconceived positions on social issues into the courtroom. Rather, he pushed us to thoroughly research all sides of each case that came through his chambers. From personal experience, I can add that the judge deliberately sought clerks with diverse perspectives and encouraged open debates to reach the best conclusion.” (Jessica Greenstone, Op-Ed, “I'm A Moderate For Gorsuch,” USA Today, 2/13/17)

  • GREENSTONE: “Our system preserves the essential liberties of all, no matter how unpopular their views are and even if others are more powerful. This is the great contribution of the judiciary. It does not create policies or agree with the politics of the current progressive majority in society. It does preserve and protect as inviolate the core rights enshrined in our Constitution so that no one may be deprived of them — among them our rights to freedom of religion, to liberty, to self-determination... It is with this view in mind that we should be critically evaluating Judge Gorsuch and asking whether he can be faithfully counted upon to defend the core rights contained in the Constitution despite the prevailing popular sentiment. The testimonies of those who have worked with him and his judicial record are a unanimous yes.” (Jessica Greenstone, Op-Ed, “I'm A Moderate For Gorsuch,” USA Today, 2/13/17)

JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: ‘Judge Gorsuch Is A Humble Man, And His Humility Informs His … Approach To The Law’

SEAN JACKOWITZ: “Judge Gorsuch is a humble man, and his humility informs his textualist approach to the law and makes him uniquely qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. I know this because I was once his law clerk.” (“What I Learned From Clerking For Judge Gorsuch,” Townhall.com, 2/8/17)

  • “…I hear Judge Gorsuch’s critics pigeonhole him as a mere ‘textualist.’ To many lawyers – including even myself, once upon a time – the ‘textualist’ label has political connotations. But as I learned from Judge Gorsuch, textualism is really what most people expect good lawyers and judges to do: study legal texts (like statutes, contracts and yes, even the Constitution) and make sense of the language in front of them. Judge Gorsuch’s textualism is borne of his own humility and view of the judicial function.” (“What I Learned From Clerking For Judge Gorsuch,” Townhall.com, 2/8/17)
  • “One of my favorite parts of clerking for Judge Gorsuch was his afternoon ritual with the clerks. Around 4:00 pm every day, the judge would burst into the clerks’ room (unlike most judges, Judge Gorsuch insisted the clerks sit together and work collaboratively), flop down on an old leather chair, and instruct the four of us, ‘Tell me something I don’t know.’ At first, we dreaded this. Was he looking for us to uncover new facts in our cases? Did he expect us to reach some critical legal insight, each and every day? As it turned out, all the judge wanted was to, quite literally, learn something he didn’t know. In due time this turned into a welcome challenge. At lunch the clerks would sit around and think of trivia, the more esoteric, the better. The judge also loved stories about travel, or foreign cultures, maybe some history now and then. But so too did he like to learn about things going on in our lives, like how were my then-fiancée and I adjusting to life in Denver? Did we do any good hiking? And perhaps most important to Judge Gorsuch, a true native Coloradan, was I doing enough to learn to ski?” (“What I Learned From Clerking For Judge Gorsuch,” Townhall.com, 2/8/17)

JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: Not Just A Man With ‘Impeccable Credentials’ But ‘A Person You Want To Get A Beer With’

JAMIL JAFFER: “One of the things I think that gets lost in this whole when we talk about his impeccable credentials and Columbia and Harvard and Oxford is he is a normal guy. He loves to fly fish, he's a skier. He's an outdoorsman. He's a person you want to get a beer with.” (Fox News’ “Hannity,” 2/01/2017)

  • JAFFER: “This guy is a normal dude. Right? The kind of guy you can go out out and have a beer with. Right? He skis, right, he fly fishes, he's a normal guy. He's got a wonderful wife, two beautiful daughters, just a family man. And just a kind human being. Really genuine.” (ABC’s “Nightline,” 1/31/2017)
  • JAFFER: “He's gonna come here, do his job as a judge, find the right case on the law, decide the case on the law, on the merits, and move forward.” (ABC’s “Nightline,” 1/31/2017)

JUDGE GORSUCH LAW CLERK: ‘We Have An Opportunity Now… To Call An End To This Escalation Of The Confirmation Wars’

MATT OWEN: “He's the sort of judge who has a well-earned reputation for being careful and for following the law without thinking about who it will favor in any particular case. ... He's interested in reading the law and following it. He has said that judges and not bureaucrats should be in-charge of interpreting the law. And I think that's a thing we learned in civics class, and it's not that controversial.” (Fox News’ “The First 100 Days,” 2/01/2017)

  • OWEN: “We have an opportunity now, I think, to call an end to this escalation of the confirmation wars. There's a well-qualified nominee who was unanimously confirmed to the Court of Appeals ten years ago, with no opposition, who's had ten years to build a record of universal respect. President Obama’s Solicitor General Neal Katyal, wrote in The New York Times just today, that he has great confidence that he would be the sort of judge who could restore confidence in the rule of law, and stand up to the administration if necessary.” (Fox News’ “The First 100 Days,” 2/01/2017)


Related Issues: Nominations, Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations