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Who is Neil Gorsuch? A staunch conservative with a background to worry liberals

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Donald Trumps nominee to the supreme court has written about liberals relying on judicial rulings to advance their social agenda

In a 2005 essay titled Liberals N Lawsuits, Neil Gorsuch, then a corporate lawyer in Washington, DC, argued that American liberals had come to rely too much on court decisions to advance their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.

Published just months after the re-election of George W Bush, it was a remarkable bit of concern-trollingahead of its time. If liberals really wanted to enact their agenda, Gorsuch wrote, they should focus on trying to win elections rather than lawsuits.

Fast-forward 12 years. American liberals and quite a few centrists too have lost another election and many have once again turned their eyes to the courts, hoping for protection from what looks to many of them like a vicious attack by the executive branch on core rights and freedoms.

If Donald Trump has his way Gorsuch will be in a position this time to do more than just write an essay. If confirmed by the Senate as the newest justice on the US supreme court, he will have unique power to help vindicate or frustrate liberals strategy.

The announcement of Gorsuchs nomination in a hyped White House spectacle on Tuesday night was greeted with expressions of concern on the left and robust cheer on the right. Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, hailed Gorsuch as a principled constitutionalist with an obviously brilliant legal mind.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/feb/01/neil-gorsuch-profile-principled-constitutionalist-or-the-next-scalia

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