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Sunday, February 05, 2017
Gorsuch Appointment Is Commendable.
By: John Stonestreet, Breakpoint.
you’ve no doubt heard, on Tuesday night President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch
of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy created by the death
of Justice Antonin Scalia.
The president said that the nomination of Gorsuch was the fulfillment of
a campaign promise to “find the very best judge in America” to sit on the
From where I sit, it looks like Mr. Trump may have delivered on his
promise. Only time will tell of course, but we’ve many reasons to be hopeful
about how Gorsuch will rule on issues of importance to Christians and
As G.K. Chesterton once noted, what matters most when considering
someone’s qualifications is their philosophy—what they believe about life and
the world. What matters most for a Supreme Court justice is their legal
philosophy. And it’s difficult to imagine a more reassuring testimonial than the
one Gorsuch received from Colson Center friend and Wilberforce Award Winner
Robert George of Princeton.
George noted that Gorsuch and he both studied under Oxford philosopher
John Finnis, one of the pre-eminent natural law theorists in the world. George
added that, in addition to being academically gifted, Gorsuch is “deeply
committed to the (actual) Constitution and the rule of law. [Gorsuch] will not
manufacture ‘rights’ or read things into the Constitution that aren't there or
read things out of the Constitution that are.”
This is encouraging coming from the eminent Robby George. But that latter
observation was also made by former Obama administration solicitor general Neal
Katyal in a New York Times opinion piece titled, “Why Liberals Should Back Neil
Even more encouraging are those things judge Gorsuch himself has written,
starting with the most important issue of them all, the sanctity and dignity of
human life from conception to natural death.
In his 2006 book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,”
Gorsuch made clear his opposition to so-called “death with dignity” laws, like
the one just approved in his and in my home state of
His opposition is grounded on the “inviolability” of human
life. As he wrote, “All human beings are intrinsically valuable . . . and the
intentional taking of human life by private persons is always
He goes on to say that “We have all witnessed, as well, family, friends,
or medical workers who have chosen to provide years of loving care to persons
who may suffer from Alzheimer’s or other debilitating illnesses precisely
because they are human persons, not because doing so instrumentally advances
some other hidden objective.”
Gorsuch’s words are especially welcome since, as we’ve talked about on
BreakPoint, the next great front in the battle for the sanctity of life, and
likely for religious freedom, will be over end-of-life issues like
assisted-suicide and euthanasia.
Speaking of religious freedom, Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in its
challenge to the HHS Mandate. In his concurring opinion he wrote the HHS mandate
infringed on the religious liberties of the Green family, which owns Hobby
Lobby, “by requiring them to lend what their religion teaches to be an
impermissible degree of assistance to the commission of what their religion
teaches to be a moral wrong.”
He also sided with the Little Sisters of the Poor in their case for
conscience rights. And as an added bonus, he’s a really good writer of legal
opinions, something we miss and need since the death of Justice
So what now? Well, we should pray for Gorsuch and his family, given the
fractious state of our politics. And of course, urge your Senators (even those
who have said they will oppose Judge Gorsuch) to confirm this spectacularly
qualified nominee to the Supreme Court. Please let your voice be
We’ve collected resources for you to learn more about judge Gorsuch at
our website at BreakPoint.org.