Justice Gorsuch: One Year on the Bench

Just over a year ago, Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate as the 101st Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. 

Justice Gorsuch has quickly become a leading and reliable voice for conservatives on the top court. He has joined the Court in hearing 60 cases in his first year, where he has drafted three opinions and many more concurrent opinions and dissenting opinions. 


In Business Insider this weekend, they noted about his writing style thus far:

Frequent readers of Gorsuch's writing as a justice say his style is designed to attract attention and reach an audience beyond law professors and experts...

Earlier this year Gorsuch began a dissent by citing English writer G.K. Chesterton, an opening that drew mixed reviews. He started an opinion involving water rights with a humorous quote attributed to actor Will Rogers, who is said to have called the Rio Grande "the only river I saw that needed irrigation.". . 

Opinion writing isn't new for Gorsuch, who spent a decade as a federal appeals court judge before joining the Supreme Court. Now, however, it comes with higher stakes and a broader audience. . . 

Business Insider continued, by noting other interesting hallmarks of Justice Gorsuch during his first year:

Since joining the court, Gorsuch has joined Justice Clarence Thomas as one of conservatives' favorite justices, fully agreeing with Thomas in 14 of the 17 cases in which the court has not been unanimous, according to statistics compiled in part by the website SCOTUSblog. . . 

[Justice] Scalia was from the outset of his time as a justice an aggressive questioner during arguments. Gorsuch is less dominant. So far this term he has asked an average of 16 questions per argument, the third highest average among the nine justices, according to SCOTUSblog. 

Gorsuch has made the courtroom audience laugh 11 times this term. That puts him in fifth place for laugh-getting by a justice, according to Boston University law professor Jay Wexler. One such moment came during arguments in a case about a baker who cited his religious beliefs in refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Gorsuch noted he's never had "a wedding cake that I would say tastes great."

The RNLA congratulates Justice Gorsuch on his first year on the Supreme Court Bench. We look forward to tracking his legacy as well as this term's biggest cases, which will surely be impacted by Justice Gorsuch's wisdom and wit.