During his televised announcement, the president said he had made his list of candidates know for months while still a candidate for president. He praised Gorsuch, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, noting his pedigree, which included education at Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, would be hard to beat.
The New York Times trumpeted the selection as being “an echo of Scalia in philosophy and style,” “a solid conservative; not seen as divisive,” and “Little doubt of his conservative credentials.”
Neal Katyal, an acting solicitor general in the Obama administration and a law professor at Georgetown, even supports him in an op-ed piece in the Times headlined: “Why liberals should back Neil Gorsuch.”
Katyal’s column begins: “I am hard-pressed to think of one thing President Trump has done right in the last 11 days since his inauguration. Until Tuesday, when he nominated an extraordinary judge and man, Neil Gorsuch, to be a justice on the Supreme Court.”
And while Katyal notes Gorsuch are on different ends of the political spectrum, “he brings a sense of fairness and decency to the job, and a temperament that suits the nation’s highest court.”
Praise poured in for President Trump for his pick.
The American Family Association set up a campaign for supporters to send emails thanking the president for his selection, noting his opinion that backed Hobby Lobby in its opposition to Obamacare’s requirement to provide contraception coverage for employees even thought it violated the owners’ religious faith.
“Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism, the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as the Founding Fathers would have interpreted it,” said Tim Wildmon, AFA president. “Gorsuch is a believer in a broad definition of religious freedom and sided with Christian employers and religious organizations in the cases of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Little Sisters of the Poor.”
The Knights of Columbus issued a statement in support of Gorsuch, saying: “From his writings and his record it is clear that he will interpret the Constitution as it was written, including our first Amendment right to religious freedom, and the right to life of every person.”
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said one of the reasons he endorsed Trump for president was because of the strong promises he made to pro-life leaders.
“Now, after less than two weeks in office, he is keeping those promises, and we are very encouraged,” Newman said. “He has proved himself to be a man of his word.”
Life Legal Defense Foundation, which currently is litigating two cases which are on appeal in the 9th Circuit, was more guarded about Gorsuch’s nomination.