Neil Gorsuch is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to the position in 2006. Judge Gorsuch previously served in the Justice Department as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Judge Gorsuch was a Marshall Scholar and received his law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
—Donald J. Trump Finalizes List of Potential Supreme Court Justice Picks
Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch
Judge Gorsuch writes both the majority opinion and concurs in judgment. His concurrence squarely confronts the separation of powers issues in granting judicial deference to the decisions of executive agencies. He urges reconsideration of the Chevron and Brand X doctrines given the Framers’ intended grants of power to each branch.
Cordova v. City of Albuquerque
The majority affirms the dismissal of a Section 1983 suit alleging multiple Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations. Concurring in judgment, Judge Gorsuch reasons that an original public meaning of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments cannot support the plaintiff’s constitutional claims. On the other hand, Judge Tymkovich’s majority opinion relies on circuit precedent.
United States v. Ackerman
Ackerman sent an email containing child pornography. An automated AOL filter using hash value matching detected the images and AOL automatically forwarded the message to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). There, an employee opened the email and confirmed the presence of child pornography. Judge Gorsuch reasoned that the NCMEC was a government entity and by opening the emails, committed a physical trespass into the defendant’s protected effects in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
United States v. Carloss
Carloss posted a “No Trespassing” sign outside his home. Despite the sign, police officers investigating a crime entered his property and knocked on his door. A majority held the police officer’s actions did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Judge Gorsuch dissented, arguing that the sign unambiguously revoked a police officer’s license to physically enter a constitutionally protected space—in this case a home’s curtilage.
United States v. Krueger
Judge Gorsuch concurred in a judgment upholding the suppression of child pornography found after a Kansas magistrate judge issued a warrant to search an Oklahoma residence. Judge Gorsuch reasons that the original public meaning of the Fourth Amendment and plain language statutory interpretation both favor suppression.
2016 Sumner Carnary Memorial Lecture: Of Lions and Bears, Judges and Legislators, and the Legacy of Justice Scalia
Judge Gorsuch delivers remarks honoring the legal legacy of Justice Scalia. The speech highlights the importance of textual approaches to statutory interpretation and recognizing key distinctions between judges and legislators.
Judge Gorsuch delivers remarks on the importance and irony of respecting the rule of law even where divides between sides seem deep and wide. Emphasizing the role debate and disagreement plays in shaping the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch advises against taking a cynical view on division, seeing it instead as a vital part of the success of the rule of law.
Prost v. Anderson
Judge Gorsuch’s majority opinion defines when Section 2255 is an inadequate measure for a federal prisoner to challenge the legality of a conviction and therefore resort to Section 2241. Judge Gorsuch’s opinion offers a detailed interpretation of the federal habeas statute’s savings clause, Section 2255(e).
Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius
Judge Gorsuch’s concurrence in the Tenth Circuit’s Hobby Lobby case reasons that RFRA is designed to protect even the most unpopular religious beliefs. The law ensures broad religious tolerance. On that ground, Judge Gorsuch argued that the Anti-Injunction Act did not prevent the court from granting injunctive relief to the family owners of Hobby Lobby stores.
American Atheists, Inc. v. Davenport
A three-judge panel held that the placement of commemorative crosses on the side of Utah highways violated the Establishment Clause. Judge Gorsuch dissented from a denial of rehearing en bank. Judge Gorsuch reasoned that the court misapplied the “reasonable observer” test for Establishment Clause violations.
U.S. v. Mendiola
A district court impermissibly imposed a twenty-four month prison sentence—twice as long as the high end of the guideline range—so a defendant could obtain drug treatment. But that order was doubly wrong and the Tenth Circuit reversed. Judge Gorsuch’s concurrence explained why the error was plain and warranted reversal.