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Wednesday, May 10, 2006 

Let the Nominations Begin

As promised, the White House is beginning to send judicial nominations to the Senate. Today's nominee is Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Gorsuch clerked for both Justice White and Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He has a law degree from Harvard and a doctorate in legal philosophy from the University of Oxford. He is currently employed in the Justice Department.

Gorsuch wrote a piece for National Review Online that I'm sure will raise a few eyebrows among the Senate Democrats. This is his conclusion...
In the face of great skepticism about the constitutionality of New Deal measures in some corners, a generation of Democratic-appointed judges, from Louis Brandeis to Byron White, argued for judicial restraint and deference to the right of Congress to experiment with economic and social policy. Those voices have been all but forgotten in recent years among liberal activists. It would be a very good thing for all involved - the country, an independent judiciary, and the Left itself - if liberals take a page from David von Drehle and their own judges of the New Deal era, kick their addiction to constitutional litigation, and return to their New Deal roots of trying to win elections rather than lawsuits.
It's true and it's good advice. There is often a public backlash over courts deciding important policy issues. I think that's where a lot of the cries about "activist judges" come from. But I'm sure someone on the Judiciary Committee will have problems with this piece.

Gorsuch might face problems over his residency too. He was born in Denver (deep in the heart of the 10th Circuit) but has spent a long time in Washington DC. The Senators have that goofy "oh this seat on the court belongs to my state" mentality. Senator Allard is on board with the Gorsuch nomination. Senator Salazar might be a problem, but he's the same person who called Justice Thomas an "abomination". His opinion of judges is meaningless to me.

This is the first I've heard of Gorsuch, but he looks solid to me. Good pick, White House. I guess you aren't totally useless.

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