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A Look At The Possible Supreme Court Nominees (to be announced 1/31/17)

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posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 09:37 AM
President Trump has said that he will announce his pick for the supreme court to replace Scalia tomorrow 1/31/2017 live at 8PM. "Close sources" say it has been narrowed down to 3 choices after the conclusion of interviews last week.

First is Neil Gorsuch

He is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th circuit and was appointed by George W. Bush.

Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism, the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as the Founding Fathers would have interpreted it, and of textualism, the idea that statutes should be interpreted literally, without considering the legislative history and underlying purpose of the law.

Gorsuch is a believer in a broad definition of religious freedom and sided with Christian employers and religious organizations in the cases of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Little Sisters of the Poor.

In the Hobby Lobby case, Gorsuch held that the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives without a co-pay violated the rights of those employers that object to use of contraceptives on religious grounds. He wrote: "The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong."

His overall view

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."

In a 2005 article published by National Review, Gorsuch argued that “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda" and that they are "failing to reach out and persuade the public". Gorsuch wrote that, by relying on judges instead of elected officials and the ballot box to enact their agenda, American liberals are circumventing the democratic process on issues like gay marriage, school vouchers, and assisted suicide, and this has led to a compromised judiciary, which is no longer independent. Gorsuch wrote that American liberals' "overweening addiction" to using the courts for social debate is "bad for the nation and bad for the judiciary"

The thing I like most about Gorsuch would be his views on state power. Gorsach was described as “a predictably socially conservative judge who tends to favor state power over federal power”.
Click to read more about Neil Gorsuch

Next up is William H Pryor Jr.
Also currently a Judge for the United States Court of Appeals but on the 11th circuit and was appointed by George W. Bush. He is also a commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission. He was Alabama's Attorney General and at the time he was the youngest attorney general in the US/

Some notable opinions:

United States v. Phillips (11th Cir. 2016). Judge Pryor wrote an opinion for a unanimous panel, affirming the denial of Ted Phillips's motion to suppress. The police caught Phillips, a convicted felon, with a firearm while they were arresting him on a civil writ of bodily attachment for his failure to pay child support. The Court's opinion explored the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment and the history of civil writs to conclude that the writ for unpaid child support gave the police the authority to arrest Phillips and to conduct a search incident to arrest

Eternal Word Television Network, Inc. v. Sec'y, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Servs. In a unanimous order, a panel of the Eleventh Circuit enjoined the Secretary of HHS from enforcing the contraception mandate against Catholic television network EWTN. Judge Pryor specially concurred, explaining why, in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby, EWTN had shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The concurrence is particularly notable because Judge Pryor noted that he parted ways with decisions of the Sixth and Seventh Circuits on the subject "because the decisions of those courts are wholly unpersuasive.

United States v. Bellaizac-Hurtado (11th Cir. 2012). Pryor wrote the majority (2–1) opinion reversing the convictions of four defendants for drug-trafficking in the territorial waters of Panama because the Act that criminalized their behavior exceeded the authority of Congress under the Offences against the Law of Nations Clause of the Constitution. The opinion is the first in-depth interpretation of the constitutional provision by a federal circuit court. Judge Rosemary Barkett specially concurred in the judgment

Zibtluda LLC v. Gwinnett County, Georgia, (11th Cir. 2005). Opinion affirmed district court ruling that a local ordinance limiting the placement of adult entertainment establishments was constitutional. The opinion was notable for Pryor's quote of a line from The B-52's hit song "Love Shack" in describing the proposed establishment.

Click to read more about William H. Pryor Jr.

Last is Thomas Hardiman
He is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Like the other two, he was appointed by George W. Bush. Hardiman is a supporter of gun rights and police powers.

Some Notible Rulings:

Two of Hardiman's majority opinions for the Third Circuit have been reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States. In United States v. Abbott, Hardiman held that a defendant's mandatory minimum sentence for violating the federal law against using firearms in connection with criminal activity is not affected by the imposition of another mandatory minimum for a different offense.

In Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, Hardiman held that a jail policy of strip-searching all arrestees does not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. In Barkes v. First Correctional Medical, Inc., Hardiman dissented from the Third Circuit's holding that two Delaware prison officials could be sued for failing to provide adequate suicide prevention protocols after a mentally ill inmate committed suicide. The Supreme Court agreed and unanimously reversed in Taylor v. Barkes,

Striking down under the First Amendment a city charter provision barring police officers from donating to their union's political action committee.

Upholding under the Foreign Commerce Clause a federal statute criminalizing sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.

Dissenting from the court's decision to uphold under the Second Amendment a New Jersey law requiring residents to make a showing of "justifiable need" to receiv

Click to read more about Thomas Hardiman

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 09:38 AM
Some dissenting views of the three from the other side of the isle.

All three are staunch conservatives, but there are critical variations among the men. Gorsuch is a conservative with the libertarian instincts of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and the smooth temperament of Chief Justice John Roberts. Hardiman is a more government-friendly conservative in the mold of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Pryor is a blatantly partisan Republican à la Justice Samuel Alito. Gorsuch would likely vote in line with Scalia’s precedents, while Hardiman might move the court slightly rightward, particularly on censorship.

They really don't like Pryor.


Pryor, for his part, would serve as a bomb-throwing culture warrior and Republican politician in robes. A partisan and an extremist, he is the only one of Trump’s shortlisters who would merit a filibuster. If Trump nominates him, Democrats will be politically and morally obliged to fight his nomination to the bitter end. William Pryor has no place on the Supreme Court.

Naturally, Pryor vehemently opposes judicial protection for “homosexual rights.” And as Alabama attorney general, he defended the constitutionality of anti-gay sodomy laws. His brief declared that states “should not be required to accept, as a matter of constitutional doctrine, that homosexual activity is harmless and does not expose both the individual and the public to deleterious spiritual and physical consequences.”

Unlike Scalia, Pryor has no independent streak, no healthy skepticism of overbearing government intrusion, and no commitment to an independent judiciary. It is already horrifying enough that Republicans stole this seat from President Obama by refusing to even consider his nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Democrats should resist the impulse to stoop to Republicans’ level by automatically rejecting Gorsuch or Hardiman; they cannot restore democratic norms by dashing them even further. But Pryor is a different matter.


Start with Gorsuch, the nominee least likely to spur a Democratic filibuster—not because of his ideology but because of his relatively scant paper trail, his unfailing eloquence, and his universal legal renown. Gorsuch sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, based in his home state of Colorado, to which he was appointed, without controversy, by George W. Bush. A Harvard Law graduate, a Marshall Scholar, and a Supreme Court clerk (for both Justice Anthony Kennedy and the right-leaning Justice Byron White), Gorsuch’s credentials are impeccable. His writing is superb, incisive, witty, and accessible in the style of Scalia and Justice Elena Kagan. In speeches and oral arguments, he comes across as thoughtful and fair-minded. He is also quite handsome, which may appeal to Trump, who purportedly makes appointments based on who looks the part.

Gorsuch’s jurisprudence is distinctively Scalian minus the embarrassingly partisan volatility that marred the justice’s later years. He is skeptical of overreaching federal prosecutions and, in particular, attempts to reach beyond a statute’s text to criminalize innocent conduct: hallmarks of Scalia’s jurisprudence that distinguished him from a prosecutor-friendly justice like Alito. He questions the wisdom of judicial deference to administrative agencies as Scalia came to do. He is generally unreceptive to death-row inmates seeking to escape executions. And perhaps most notably, he is extraordinarily solicitous to religious corporations, writing that they must not be required to comply with the contraceptive mandate if doing so makes them “complicit” in evil.

It seems safe to say that Gorsuch would have voted to strike down the Affordable Care Act, uphold same-sex marriage bans, and maintain and expand the death penalty. On the other hand, I find it difficult to believe that Gorsuch would have embraced grotesquely partisan litigation like the duplicitous effort to explode the ACA in King v. Burwell. And though he has heard few First Amendment cases, I suspect Gorsuch would share Scalia’s and Roberts’ preference for free expression over Alito’s disturbing embrace of censorship.


Similar to Scalia—and to Gorsuch, and virtually all conservative federal judges today—Hardiman takes an expansive view of the Second Amendment. He believes the right to bear arms extends beyond the home, suggesting that restrictions on concealed carry might be unconstitutional. He thinks at least some convicted felons still have a right to own a firearm. He voted to let jails strip search anybody, even without any reasonable suspicion, a position unfortunately upheld by the Supreme Court. But he is sometimes hard to pigeonhole: He also held that discrimination against gay men for being “effeminate” may constitute unlawful sex discrimination, a hot-button topic that is destined for Supreme Court determination.


So, what say you ATS? Any preference? Who worries or excites you the most? Why?

edit on 30-1-2017 by FauxMulder because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 10:59 AM
Of the three, I think I'd be ok with Gorsuch and probably Hardiman, but somehow I think that Pryor will be the one picked.

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 11:13 AM
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I like Gorsuch as well. When the above article attacked Pryor for defending Alabama's law, they left out that as attorney general that was his job. Weather or not he agreed with it doesn't matter he had to defend it. Though, I admit he probably did agree with it.

If Trump is wise enough to try and ensure there isn't much of a fight, he probably wont pick Pryor. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 11:15 AM
a reply to: FauxMulder

This alone:

Naturally, Pryor vehemently opposes judicial protection for “homosexual rights.” And as Alabama attorney general, he defended the constitutionality of anti-gay sodomy laws. His brief declared that states “should not be required to accept, as a matter of constitutional doctrine, that homosexual activity is harmless and does not expose both the individual and the public to deleterious spiritual and physical consequences.”

makes me not like the guy, but as the most consequential nominee of the three and the one that will piss off liberals the most, I feel he will be Trump's guy.

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 12:14 PM
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I'm just surprised he was able to use the word "deleterious" in a grammatically correct manner.

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 03:00 PM
Based on what I've read about them, which admittedly isn't that much, I think I'd prefer that Hardiman receive the nomination based on his pro-2A track record. Gorsuch would be a close second, but at a glance, all three seem acceptable to me, though.

If I had to guess, it will be Gorsuch.

posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 07:06 PM

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: FauxMulder

but as the most consequential nominee of the three and the one that will piss off liberals the most, I feel he will be Trump's guy.

It's Gursuch! Now you gotta give Trump some credit man, he didn't do something just to piss liberals off.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 08:36 AM
a reply to: FauxMulder

I'm ok with the guy, though I'm sure many liberals will fight against him just on principle. He's practically like Scalia 2.0. If we've been living under Scalia so long then we can take more decades with this guy. I have better battles to fight then blocking his nomination.

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