Facts about Neil Gorsuch
Neil Gorsuch Biography
Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump on January 31, 2017. He was confirmed on April 7, 2017, taking the court seat held open by Republicans since the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February of 2016.
Neil Gorsuch grew up in Washington, D.C.; his mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, was the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Ronald Reagan from 1981-83. Neil Gorsuch attended Georgetown Preparatory School near Washington, graduating in 1985. He went on to earn degrees from Columbia University (in 1988) and Harvard Law School (in 1991); as a Marshall Scholar, he received a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from University College, Oxford in 2004.
He served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justices Byron “Whizzer” White and Anthony Kennedy (1993-94). In 1995 he joined the law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, D.C., rising to partner in his decade there. In 2005 he was named principal deputy to the associate attorney general and acting associate attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice. The next year, in 2006, he was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by President George W. Bush, where he remained until his nomination to the Supreme Court.
He was not the first presidential nominee for Scalia’s seat. Judge Merrick Garland was nominated by President Barack Obama after Scalia’s death; led by majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans in the U.S. Senate refused to consider Garland, preferring to wait and hope for the election of a Republican in the 2016 elections. The ploy worked; Trump was elected and nominated Gorsuch shortly after taking office in January of 2017.
Nearly all Democrats declined to support Gorsuch, so Republicans invoked the so-called “nuclear option”: changing Senate rules so that Gorsuch could be confirmed by a simple majority vote rather than by the 60-40 vote normally needed to overcome a minority filibuster. Gorsuch was then confirmed by a vote of 54-45.
The Washington Post called Neil Gorsuch “a less bombastic version of Scalia” who is both an originalist and a textualist — that is, he believes “that judges should attempt to interpret the words of the Constitution as they were understood at the time they were written” and “considers only the words of the law being reviewed, not legislators’ intent or the consequences of the decision.”
Neil Gorsuch’s wife, Louise Gorsuch, is “a British woman he met at Oxford,” according to a 2017 report in the Boulder (CO) Daily Camera. They have two children: Emma (born circa 1999) and Belinda (born circa 2001)… Neil Gorsuch attended Harvard Law School at the same time as President Barack Obama; both men graduated in 1991.
Something in Common with Neil Gorsuch
- Virgo Jurists (2)