President Trump’s Nominee for the Supreme Court

February 9, 2017

Last week, President Trump nominated Tenth Circuit Court Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to fill the US Supreme Court seat left vacant since the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death last February. Gorsuch, like Scalia, seems to be a conservative judge with an originalist approach, meaning that he attempts to interpret the US Constitution in terms of its authors’ original intent.  Judge Gorsuch, age 49, received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1988 and his law degree from Harvard Law School, with honors, in 1999. He later earned a doctorate of legal philosophy from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle in the D.C. Circuit and then clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron R. White and Anthony M. Kennedy during the 1993-1994 term.  Following his clerkships, Judge Gorsuch worked in private practice for about 10 years, specializing in complex litigation.  In 2005, he entered public service as Principal Deputy Associate Director at the Department of Justice.  The following year, he was appointed to the Tenth Circuit by President George W. Bush. His circuit court nomination was confirmed unanimously.  Gorsuch is best know for his opinions in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, concluding that the organizations in these cases were entitled to religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employee health insurance plans cover contraception. Being in the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch does not have an extensive history of opinions on employment matters, but most expect him to take pro-business stances similar to what Scalia or another conservative justice might take. It appears on balance that Judge Gorsuch’s ruling have been more employer friendly.  If you have an employment question, please contact your Tampa Employment Lawyer, Darren D. McClain.

This post was written by Darren McClain