republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
March 19, 2017
It’s an odd remark for someone whose primary credential is his supposed textual fidelity to the Constitution, but then people often change from their college days. Yet many questions remain about our President’s first nominee for the Supreme Court.
A Mexican immigrant who twice entered the U.S. illegally has one man in particular to thank for being able to live and work in Oklahoma City with his family -- Judge Neil M. Gorsuch.Gorsuch, the nominee President Donald Trump is betting on to be his Supreme Court tie-breaker, wrote a 2016 ruling permitting Hugo Rosario Gutierrez-Brizuela to stay in the U.S. and, his lawyer hopes, within a few years become a citizen.“Without it we were done," said Timothy Cook, the attorney. Had the decision gone the other way, Gutierrez-Brizuela would have been promptly deported, he said.As Trump vows to fight all the way to the nation’s top court to preserve his temporary ban on travel from six mostly Muslim nations and immigration agents turn to more aggressive tactics on city streets, Gorsuch’s conservative credentials have been hailed as likely to swing the divided court in the president’s favor.But as lawmakers scrutinize Gorsuch’s decade-long tenure on a federal appeals court for clues about how he might rule on hot-button issues such as abortion and gun control, his record shows that on immigration rights, he can’t be easily categorized.Moreover, some experts and academics say Gorsuch’s criticism of executive overreach in the Gutierrez-Brizuela case and others could lead him to reach decisions at odds with the Republican president’s policies. The judge’s thinking in those cases is likely to be a subject of intense interest in confirmation hearings next week.