After a partisan fight so deep it forced the Senate to go “nuclear” to confirm him, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the nation’s newest Supreme Court justice on Monday.
Since President Donald Trump announced his choice to fill the seat that was left vacant when Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, observers immediately began speculating how conservative Gorsuch was.
President George W. Bush appointed him to the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006. Gorsuch is from Colorado, attended Harvard Law School, and clerked for both Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
In his most prominent case on a controversial issue, he ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s so-called contraception mandate violated Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs, before it went up to the Supreme Court and a majority of justices agreed with Gorsuch’s opinion.
He has also issued rulings siding with defendants over prosecutors, been a staunch opponent of what he calls “executive overreach,” and favors a textualist interpretation of the Constitution.
So where does Gorsuch stand on the spectrum of liberal to conservative, compared with the other active Supreme Court justices?
Researchers Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, and Kevin Quinn conducted an analysis of Trump’s potential Supreme Court picks back in December, which we first saw in The New York Times, to answer that very question. Since judges are notoriously close-lipped about their political leanings or how they might rule on potential cases, the researchers used an equation taking into account the political affiliations of the senators from their home states and the president appointing them.
Here is what they concluded for Gorsuch:
- Skye Gould/Business Insider