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Congressman Jason Smith

Representing the 8th District of Missouri

The Right Choice

Feb 3, 2017
Weekly Capitol Report

President Trump exercised one of the most significant responsibilities given to him by Article II of the United States Constitution this week when he nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Filling Justice Scalia’s shoes will be no easy task, but I have no doubt that a conservative pro-life judge like Gorsuch will be up to the challenge.

In the coming months, the Supreme Court will be faced with decisions on legal challenges to the countless executive orders from the previous Administration. These are actions taken by the Obama White House which many view as illegal or unconstitutional and deal with granting mass amnesty, restricting second amendment rights, the costly “clean power plan”  - which a southeastern Missouri resident told me will double or triple her monthly utility bills, and attempted federal control over local education policy. With Gorsuch behind the bench, we have a Justice who will always look to promote personal freedom and liberty while viewing our Constitution as a document which enhances the rights of states and individuals, not the federal government.  

Judge Gorsuch is widely recognized as a fair and principled jurist and is well respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. In fact, when Gorsuch was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2006, he was confirmed without any votes in opposition, including Democrats. You read that right, contrary to the recent attacks being pushed by Senator Schumer and his liberal allies in the Senate, not a single Democrat previously opposed Gorsuch’s confirmation including then Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama. Amazing that so many in the Senate now are putting political interests ahead of our countries and are choosing to oppose Gorsuch purely to be obstructionists.  

Like Scalia, Judge Gorsuch interprets the Constitution from the perspective of the Founding Fathers and not on a case-by-case basis to serve political needs. Judge Gorsuch’s similarities to Justice Scalia are evident in a tribute Gorsuch gave after Justice Scalia’s death in which he wrote “Judges should instead strive (if humanly and so imperfectly) to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be - not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.

Throughout his career Judge Gorsuch has continually stood on the side of religious freedom and the right to life of the unborn. One of his most notable decisions came in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, in which Gorsuch upheld that the federal government could not force businesses to offer coverage for prescription drugs related to abortion services.

Judge Gorsuch echoes the qualities of Justice Scalia, making him the perfect replacement to restore conservatism and balance back to the Supreme Court.  Justice Scalia’s seat on the court does not belong to any president or any political party, but to the American people. Senate Democrats should remember this important fact and follow in Obama and Clinton’s footsteps by confirming Judge Gorsuch immediately.