Skip to main content

Gorsuch: The Judge Who Speaks for Himself

Some Supreme Court justices stand taller in our memories than others, due to both their influential (or incendiary) opinions, and the public role they take on as Supreme Court justice. Antonin Scalia, one of the most well-known Justices in modern memory, died suddenly on February 13, 2016, leaving a long and controversial legacy. The first Supreme Court vacancy overseen by the Trump administration led to the nomination, and later, confirmation of Neil McGill Gorsuch of Colorado, then 49 years old. Far from a household name, much remains unknown about Gorsuch and the justice he will become. In Gorsuch, a new biography by journalist John Greenya, readers learn more about our newest justice, if not his jurisprudence.

A relatively slim volume, at about 200 pages, Greenya’s book explores Gorsuch’s early years, career progression, and confirmation process. The reader learns about his formative experiences growing up in Colorado, and his experience as the son of a former EPA-head (Anne Gorsuch). The recollections of his classmates at Harvard Law School are interesting as well, with most describing him as a thoughtful conservative, graduating at the top of his class along with Barack Obama in 1991. Later chapters discuss his clerking experience with Justice Anthony Kennedy (though he was hired by a retiring Justice White), years in private practice, and his stint at the DOJ before appointment to the federal bench.

Gorsuch’s stance on abortion and the future of Roe v. Wade is discussed throughout the book, with friends and colleagues opining on how his appointment to the Supreme Court may affect abortion rights. The book finishes with a discussion of his major opinions as a federal judge, and a detailed account of his Senate Confirmation Hearings. All in all, Gorsuch provides a good overview for anyone interested in a not-so-well-known Supreme Court justice.


Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …