If I ever meet Judge Neil Gorsuch, I bet I will like him a lot.
After the president announced Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee, he shook his hand, and tried to pull Gorsuch towards him. The judge, rooted in his spot, with his arm fully extended, shook the president’s hand but did not come closer. I smiled. “This man will not be pulled around by anyone,” I thought. It is too bad this by all accounts decent man is the recipient of a hijacked Supreme Court seat, that Congressional Republicans stole because Justice Scalia had the audacity to die during the Obama administration.
After the acrimonious confirmations of Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions, Gorsuch floats above all of the political infighting and the slippery principles of Senate Republicans. He seems to be a Renaissance sort of person who is knowledgeable on a number of topics, and is probably a great dinner party guest. He is very outdoorsy, and it is reported he invites his clerks for runs and hikes not far from his Denver home. For a nominee for the Supreme Court, we could do a lot worse.
I want to like Gorsuch, but despite his superb credentials and elegant manner, he’s an originalist. Meaning he interprets the constitution through the lens and context of when it was written in 1789. It sounds quaint and intellectually stimulating on paper, but in practice, for those who are not property owning white men, it is an inherently prejudicial interpretation from a white man who has never had to fight for his civil rights, and will never suffer the repercussions of his own rulings. Gorsuch has three academic degrees, he knows this, yet this is the interpretation he prefers. This is a bump in our potential, imaginary friendship.