by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Justice Neil Gorsuch is firing back at the critics of his judicial philosophy, some of whom sit alongside him on the Supreme Court, who believe the Constitution should be interpreted differently in the modern era.
Since joining the Supreme Court in 2017, when he was nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate by a 54-45 vote, he has positioned himself as a bulwark against what he says is “nine older people sitting in Washington making stuff up.”
“When that happens, your rights get diminished and the Constitution gets amended in ways you never agreed to,” he told the Washington Examiner during an interview in his chambers at the Supreme Court, which once belonged to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch, like Scalia before him, believes the Constitution should be interpreted as to its text and original public meaning, and argues the originalist approach ensures the rights of the American people are not lost and new rights added.
He added: “Your rights get lost when you depart from the original meaning. And then sometimes, wait, it gets worse. Not only does it take stuff away, it puts stuff in there that isn’t.”
What Gorsuch, 52, believes is the best approach to interpreting the Constitution and laws, as well as the proper role of judges, are central themes of Gorsuch’s new book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It, published by Crown. A collection of essays, speeches, and judicial opinions, the book was born of the confirmation process, during which he realized some perceive judges to be like politicians, he writes.