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Justice Gorsuch: 'It's About Honoring the Words' of the Founders

09-07-2019
Image source: AP photo
Image source: AP photo

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has written a new book highlighting his judicial philosophy and emphasizing the original meaning of the Constitution.

"A Republic, If You Can Keep It," was written because Gorsuch "wanted to say something about the Constitution, the separation of powers and the judge's role in it," he told The Washington Post.

The title is taken from a comment, reportedly made by Benjamin Franklin in response to a question about what kind of government the delegates created at the Constitutional Convention.

Gorsuch, 52, was nominated by President Trump and confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2017.

He revealed more of his judicial ideology in a recent interview with the Associated Press.

"It's one thing to think that judges occasionally, mistakenly, wrongly decide cases based on who they like and who they dislike as parties. It's another thing to think that judges are just politicians who are supposed to do that," Gorsuch explained.

He mentioned that judges are not politicians, even if their decision in a case is predicable - on account of the president who appointed them.

He would not answer questions about President Trump. "If you're asking me about politics, I'm not going to touch that," Gorsuch said.

All he would say regarding the president was that during the 2017 nomination process, Trump "was very gracious to my family."

Gorsuch addressed the 'living Constitution' and clarified that having a dynamic meaning or a sense that the Constitution changes with time is illogical.

"You know, the living Constitution is going to take your rights away and it's going to add ones that aren't there - we have a written Constitution. It's about honoring the words the people chose to adopt. What are the first three words of the Constitution? It's 'We the people,' not 'We the states,' not 'We the nine old judges,'" he added.

He pointed out that a justice must consider whether or not a decision aligns with the authenticity of the Constitution and if other justices have questioned it.

"Originalism has regained its place at the table of constitutional interpretation, and textualism in the reading of statutes has triumphed. And neither one is going anywhere on my watch," Gorsuch proclaimed.

In his book, Gorsuch petitions for goodwill and kindness, recalling advice from his family, who taught him that he would never resent being kind to others. It consists of essays, speeches, past opinions, thoughts on civics and civility. It will be published Tuesday.

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