During the confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch, liberals and conservatives were all trying to guess exactly where Gorsuch would fall. Conservatives said he was somewhat a moderate and liberals said he was more conservative than they wanted, but not as much as Scalia was. Now, one liberal source is speculating that liberals will truly miss Scalia, indicating that Gorsuch could be more conservative than Scalia was, if that is possible.
Originalism is having a moment.
Although it’s been used to refer to slightly different ideas at various points in the recent past, “originalism” generally refers to the idea that the only proper way to interpret the U.S. Constitution is to examine what its words meant at the time they were ratified.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia was originalism’s most famous evangelist. Neil Gorsuch, the man Donald Trump named to replace Scalia, is also an avowed originalist.
Indeed, Gorsuch presents himself as something of a Scalia fanboy. In a 2016 lecture, Gorsuch spoke about how he “couldn’t see the rest of the way down the mountain for the tears” after he learned of Scalia’s death while skiing. During a White House ceremony on Monday where Gorsuch took the oath of office, he said that he “will never forget that the seat I inherit today is that of a very, very great man.” (He meant Scalia, not Merrick Garland.)