I just read up on him. He seems quite reasonable. In his decision for the Pleasant Grove 10 Commandments case he said:
Gorsuch has written that “the law […] doesn’t just apply to protect popular religious beliefs: it does perhaps its most important work in protecting unpopular religious beliefs, vindicating this nation’s long-held aspiration to serve as a refuge of religious tolerance”
He sided with the felon possessing a firearm when the guy didn’t know he was a felon.
And, ruled that CO mandates for renewable energy didn’t violate the dormant commerce clause (which allows state laws to be declared unconstitutional if they too greatly burden interstate commerce) – out of state coal said they couldn’t compete but he wrote an opinion that the mandate didn’t violate that clause.
And adheres to a strict reading of the death penalty.
But this, I like this the most:
Legal philosophy (source: WikiPedia.com)
Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism, the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as perceived at the time of enactment, and of textualism, the idea that statutes should be interpreted literally, without considering the legislative history and underlying purpose of the law.
Opposition to “judicial activism” (source: WikiPedia.com)
In a 2005 speech at Case Western Reserve University, Gorsuch said that judges should strive
“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.”
Reading his dissent in AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC. v. DAVENPORT•637 F.3d 1095, 1108 (10th Cir. 2010) (source: casetext.com) was a joy – some excerpts:
He misses these integral components of the display, we’re told, because “a motorist driving by one of the memorial crosses at 55-plus miles per hour may not notice, and certainly would not focus on, the biographical information.” So it is that we must now apparently account for the speed at which our observer likely travels and how much attention he tends to pay to what he sees. We can’t be sure he will even bother to stop and look at a monument before having us declare the state policy permitting it unconstitutional.
But that’s not the end of things. It seems we must also take account of our observer’s selective and feeble eyesight. Selective because our observer has no problem seeing the Utah highway patrol insignia and using it to assume some nefarious state endorsement of religion is going on; yet, mysteriously, he claims the inability to see the fallen trooper’s name posted directly above the insignia.
And feeble because our observer can’t see the trooper’s name even though it is painted in approximately 8-inch lettering across a 6-foot cross-bar — the same size text used for posting the words “SPEED LIMIT” alongside major interstate highways.
Still, if this case could be dismissed as a “one off misapplication of the reasonable observer test, that might make it less worthy of review. But it can’t be so easily shrugged off.
Now, like anything, you will never be 100% happy with a result. There is always compromise. I do have some issues with his standings, i.e., he’s not a perfect justice for me (its impossible, I’m a moderate and I get that).
For example, he is very much against assisted suicide, arguing that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” (source: Washington Post). I think people have the right to determine if their life should continue, with counseling. If I am terminally ill and in a lot of pain – I should get to make that choice. In the US, we’ve adopted a policy of prolonging death, and that seems to be inhumane.
He was called by Justin Marceau, a professor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, as “a predictably socially conservative judge who tends to favor state power over federal power”. Whilst I can agree with favoring (note favoring) state power over federal power, our social stances are in opposition – identifying myself as socially liberal but fiscally conservative.
Still more to read but seemingly reasonable so far.