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participatory / Appellate Practice

The Gorsuch confirmation hearings

audio

This week's show focuses on the judicial event that's taken center stage: Confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, nominated to take the vacant seat left by the late Antonin Scalia.
Our guests, Vikram Amar, Dean of the University of Illinois College of Law, and David Dorsen, Of Counsel with Sedgwick LLP and author of the new book The Unexpected Scalia: A Conservative Justice's Liberal Opinions, try to glean Gorsuch's jurisprudential inclinations, notwithstanding the judge's artful dodging of most substantive legal questions posed to him by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Our guests also discuss that practice, of nominees claiming that judicial independence prevents them from offering insight as to how they'd have ruled in past Supreme Court cases. Both our guests agree that more substantive discourse at these hearings would better serve the republic, especially in a modern era that features a more prominent Supreme Court.
Nonetheless, from the answers Judge Gorsuch did provide, out guests will attempt discern his particular brand of originalism, and his likely impact on a range of areas of jurisprudence, such as abortion, guns, campaign finance, labor law, and Chevron deference. They'll also describe the heightened partisan rancor these hearings have witnessed, after former President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland was denied the opportunity to receive such hearings.
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