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My Turn 3-19
Gorsuch deserves confirmation
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Senate confirmation hearings are set to begin tomorrow for President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court slot left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia last year.
The nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is hardly a household name, but he is sure to be the focus of the multimedia news cycle, once the Senate Judiciary Committee takes up his nomination tomorrow morning.
By any objective measure, Judge Gorsuch should be a shoo-in to replace the late Justice Scalia. Born in 1967, he sits on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, his law degree from Harvard University, and his doctorate of philosophy from Oxford University.
After serving as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, Gorsuch practiced law for 10 years with a prominent D.C. law firm. He then served as principal deputy to the associate attorney general, and as acting associate attorney general at the U.S. Justice Department. In May, 2006, President George W. Bush nominated Gorsuch for the 10th Circuit. The Senate confirmed him by a bipartisan voice vote just two months later. 
In short, Judge Neil Gorsuch is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. His academic credentials and legal experience in the public and private sector combine to position him as an ideal presidential nominee, who should be quickly confirmed by the Senate.
The American Bar Association recently declared Judge Gorsuch “well-qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court. That’s the group’s highest rating, awarded unanimously by their standing committee on the federal judiciary.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley welcomed the ABA’s decision, saying “The ABA’s ringing endorsement is no surprise given Judge Gorsuch’s sterling credentials and his distinguished decade-long record on the 10th Circuit. Former Chairman Patrick Leahy and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have called the ABA’s assessment the ‘gold standard’ in evaluating federal judicial nominations. In light of Judge Gorsuch’s impeccable record, it’s hard to imagine any other result from the ABA’s consideration.”
“It shows his credentials are impeccable,” added former GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is guiding Gorsuch through the confirmation process. “It’s also a reflection on the way he treats litigants [and] shows you what type of judge he has been and will be if confirmed on the Supreme Court.”
Given all the accolades, including more than a few from Democrats, in and out of the Senate, I predict Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed by at least 60 votes. His main fault, in the eyes of Chuck Schumer and his handful of friends, is his conservative nature. However, what they see as a vice, Republicans and moderate Democrats see as a virtue.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at