Judge Gorsuch: An engaged jurist

Despite protestations by United States Senate Democrats that they will give as good as they got, the likelihood of successfully filibustering Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination ad infinitum is slim, if for no other reason Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can always dispense with the filibuster requirement by simple majority vote. Thus, it behooves us all to become familiar with the thinking of this brilliant 49-year old jurist who is likely to be on the court for a generation or more.

Of particular interest to those of us who advocate Death with Dignity legislation is the extensive writings of Judge Gorsuch on “Assisted Suicide” (his words). He has written a book on topic as well as several law review articles.

What is interesting about Judge Gorsuch’s views is they were developed during the infancy of the Death with Dignity legislative regime, without the benefit of the now 20 years of supporting data. As Judge Gorsuch appears to be very much a social scientist more than an ideologue, I am hopeful that he will have an open mind and revisit his thesis in light of more recent data and modify his views. His writings make clear he is adamantly opposed to Physician Assisted Suicide and euthanasia for a variety of reasons. His parade of horrors would make anyone recoil, yet a score years on with the Oregon experiment, joined by five other states, including his native Colorado, and the District of Columbia have shown that there has been no abuse, no racial profiling, no shunting aside of the weakest among us. The Oregon regime works well. We hope Judge Gorsuch will reconsider his premature condemnation.

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