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Trump nominates pro-life Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump confirmed Tuesday night that his Supreme Court nominee is pro-life Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"When Justice Scalia passed away suddenly last February, I made a promise to the American people" to find "very best judge in the country for the Supreme Court," said Trump. “I am a man of my word. I will do as I say, something that the American people have been asking for from Washington for a very, very long time.”

Trump said Gorsuch has a "brillant mind, tremendous discipline" and bipartisan support. Trump noted that a justice can serve for half a century or so.

Maureen Scalia, the wife of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was at the White House for Trump's announcement. The president called her a representative of the "late, great Justice Antonin Scalia."

Gorsuch, 49, is a favorite of social conservatives because of his pro-life views and his record defending religious liberty.

In Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius, Gorsuch sided with the Christian-owned craft store that did not want to be forced by the government to provide certain contraceptives through its health plan.

Gorsuch favored the Little Sisters of the Poor when dissenting from a 10th Circuit decision saying the nuns must be forced to formally cooperate with the provision of contraception. The dissent essentially said that the 10th Circuit "had shown insufficient deference to the Little Sisters’ own articulation of the tenets of their religious beliefs," according to SCOTUS blog.

Gorsuch attended University of Oxford, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School. He has "a flair that matches — or at least evokes" that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, SCOTUS blog reports, because his "opinions are exceptionally clear and routinely entertaining; he is an unusual pleasure to read, and it is always plain exactly what he thinks and why."

Gorsuch brought up Scalia in his speech tonight.

"Justice Scalia was a lion of the law," he said. "I miss him."

In 2009, Gorsuch wrote The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, in which he argued that human life has intrinsic value and "that intentional killing is always wrong." The nuanced book examined legal and ethical issues surrounding assisted suicide and euthanasia, as well as the roles patient autonomy and refusal of unwanted medical care play. Its publisher Princeton University Press calls the book "the most comprehensive argument against their legalization ever published." Gorsuch studied under natural law expert John Finnis. 

Just last year, Gorsuch sided with Utah Governor Gary Herbert when he sought to defund Planned Parenthood. 

Of Roe v. Wade, Gorsuch wrote that there is "no constitutional basis" for giving a mother more rights than her unborn child (The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, p. 82): 

In Roe, the Court explained that, had it found the fetus to be a “person” for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, it could not have created a right to abortion because no constitutional basis exists for preferring the mother’s liberty interests over the child’s life.

It doesn't appear that Gorsuch has ruled on a case directly related to the constitutionality of abortion.

Gorsuch's resume is "as good as it gets," Trump said. He is "someone who respects our laws…and who loves our Constitution."

"I am so thankful tonight for my family, my friends, and my faith," said Gorsuch. "These are the things that keep me grounded at life’s peaks and sustain me in its valleys."

He said he is "honored" and "humbled" to be nominated.



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