Prominent Progressive Lawyer: No Reason to Vote No on Gorsuch

by Ed Whelan

In this Washington Post op-ed, prominent appellate lawyer David C. Frederick, “a longtime supporter of Democratic candidates and progressive causes” and a member of the board of directors of the left-wing American Constitution Society, explains to his fellow Democrats why “there is no principled reason to vote no” on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Frederick praises Gorsuch (his “former law partner and longtime friend”) as “brilliant, diligent, open-minded and thoughtful.” Frederick also refutes the wildly distorted attacks that various groups on the Left have launched (and that I’ve critiqued in various posts collected here). An excerpt:

As a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Gorsuch has not been the reflexive, hard-edged conservative that many depict him to be. He has ruled for plaintiffs and for defendants; for those accused of crimes as well as for law enforcement; for those who entered the country illegally; and for those harmed by environmental damage.

Anyone who sees Gorsuch as automatically pro-corporation should talk to the officers at Rockwell International and Dow Chemical, against whom he reinstated a $920 million jury verdict for environmental contamination at the Rocky Flats nuclear facility. Executives at U.S. Tobacco Company might also be wringing their hands at the moment, given that Gorsuch, as an attorney, helped to attain one of the largest antitrust verdicts in history against the company.

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