College students should support Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for the Supreme Court. Certainly, conservatives can count on Judge Gorsuch to interpret the Constitution in an originalist way, and Judge Gorsuch is a philosophical ally of the late Justice Scalia, but Judge Gorsuch is not aligned with Justice Scalia on one major aspect of jurisprudence: deference to federal agencies on regulation. For college students wondering how the filling of the ninth seat on the Supreme Court will affect them, understanding Judge Gorsuch’s background and beliefs is important.
Judge Gorsuch has an incredible educational pedigree. He went to college here in New York City, graduating from Columbia University before moving on to Harvard Law School. Additionally, he was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, finishing a PhD in jurisprudence. Judge Gorsuch has clerked for two Supreme Court Justices, worked as a private attorney and did a stint at the Department of Justice before his current post as a Circuit Court Judge in Colorado. At just 49 years old, he would be the youngest Supreme Court Justice, besting the 56 year-old Elena Kagan.
Why college students should be most excited about Judge Gorsuch, however, is his view of regulatory agencies. In what has become a defining pillar of his legal philosophy, Judge Gorsuch has argued strongly against the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark Chevron case, of which Justice Scalia was a major defender. In 1984, the Court opted to defer to regulatory agencies in setting policies. This allows unelected bureaucrats to make policy on their own, without any accountability to the voting public.
With a reliable ally for young, entrepreneurial college students on the court who believes in challenging federal agencies on their regulatory behavior, along with President Donald Trump’s ambitious rollback of job-killing regulations, those at NYU may graduate to a booming economy with plenty of jobs and numerous other business opportunities. Judge Gorsuch would be a jurist focused on taking the power out of the hands of our shadow government, which is something worth celebrating. As millennials become more conservative, Judge Gorsuch is the right pick at the right time for many still in school, ushering in a more modern conservative philosophy to the court that focuses on accountability to the people, defense of religious liberty — including religious minorities — and renewed appreciation for the Constitution.
Our Constitution is set up in such a way that the three branches of government wrestling for a limited amount of power is inherently a good thing; it forces leaders to keep one another in check. The system only works, however, when each branch is pulling its weight. In Judge Gorsuch, the American people get an individual who believes strongly in the independence of the court. He walks the fine line between the judicial activism against which Justice Scalia routinely railed and an overbearing amount of judicial restraint that threatens our nation’s economic prowess as regulators grab for power. If Judge Gorsuch’s past is any indicator of his future performance, he is one of the finest picks for the Supreme Court in modern history.
SPS senior Eli Nachmany worked for President Trump’s campaign last semester as an Advance Press Lead, traveling the country. He also worked on the Presidential Inaugural Committee as an Event Coordinator.
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A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 21 print edition. Email Eli Nachmany at [email protected]