« Ethan Leib: Are the Federal Rules of Evidence Unconstitutional?
Michael Ramsey
| Main | David Schwartz: The Committee of Style and the Federalist Constitution
Michael Ramsey »

09/27/2021

Noah Feldman on Justice Gorsuch and Justice Scalia
Michael Ramsey

At Bloomberg, Noah Feldman (Harvard): Neil Gorsuch Is Channeling the Ghost of Scalia.

Neil Gorsuch has big ambitions.

Every Supreme Court justice wants to do good work, write good opinions and influence the trajectory of American law. Justice Gorsuch wants more: intellectual leadership of the conservative legal movement. That would make him the heir to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he replaced in 2017 after the Senate refused to vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

Gorsuch’s aspiration to intellectual leadership fairly bursts from his votes and opinions and seems to have formed early in his career. He might accomplish it if emerging splits within the close-knit family of conservative legal thinkers break his way.

In practice, this means Gorsuch decides cases a little differently from his colleagues, including the two others appointed by former President Donald Trump, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. In every case, no matter how small or large, he takes pains to shape a consistent judicial philosophy that defines the conservative position.

The results so far have been noteworthy. Gorsuch has delivered some extremely conservative opinions on religious liberty and other issues. But he also authored the landmark opinion Bostock v. Clayton County, which conferred workplace anti-discrimination rights on gay and transgender people and was lauded by liberals and condemned by many conservatives.

(Via How Appealing).

UPDATE:  Josh Blackman has some harsh comments at Volokh Conspiracy: Noah Feldman Indulges in Gorsuch and Barrett Fan Fiction -- Feldman imagines some hypothetical battle between Gorsuch's consistency and Barrett's doctrine.