What Conservatives Are Saying About Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump nominated appellate judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Every conservative group had an opinion on the nominee, and most of them proved quite positive.

"President Trump hit a home run in his choice of Judge Gorsuch, an extremely well qualified and widely respected jurist with a deep commitment to upholding the Constitution and the vision of the founders," declared Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state and a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. "With the nomination of Judge Gorsuch, the President has clearly delivered on his campaign commitment to appoint a Justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia who would be guided by the Constitution and not by their ideological or personal views," wrote Blackwell in a Facebook post.

Mark Lucas, executive director at the conservative veterans group Concerned Veterans for America, agreed. "Anyone who celebrates freedom should be pleased that President Trump has nominated someone who so deeply respects our Constitution," Lucas said. "Judge Gorsuch is an originalist in his interpretation of the law, in the spirit of the framers and the late Justice Scalia. ... His concern for the least fortunate is evidenced by his countless opinions against things like over-regulation and over-criminalization. Gorsuch has fought to keep the power of the law in the hands of the American people."

"We applaud the president's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch," declared Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, in a statement. "From his writings and his record it is clear that he will interpret the Constitution as it was written, including our First Amendment right to religious freedom, and the right to life of every person." Anderson added, "It is hard to imagine a better, and more qualified, candidate."

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, also praised Gorsuch. "All too often, our efforts to protect unborn children and other vulnerable humans have been overridden by judges who believe they have a right to impose their own policy preferences," Tobias said in a statement.

"Pro-life legislators and activists nationwide can have high confidence that as a Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch will not join those who have nullified past efforts to protect the lives of unborn children and other vulnerable humans," Douglas D. Johnson, senior policy advisor for National Right to Life, said, underscoring Tobias's statement.

Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, pointed out that President Trump "took the unprecedented step of sharing a list of names from which he promised to choose a Supreme Court nominee." Since "exit polls showed that one in five voters named the Supreme Court as their top issue," Martin argued that Trump "has a clear mandate to choose our next Justice." She announced that Tea Party Patriots "will work very hard to ensure the Senate quickly moves to confirm Judge Gorsuch."

Mere minutes after Gorsuch's nomination, the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) announced a $10 million national campaign to confirm the Supreme Court nominee. The first phase consists of an initial buy of $2 million for broadcast, cable, satellite, and digital ads into Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, and Washington, D.C.

"Neil Gorsuch is exceptionally qualified — a fair and independent judge who bases his decisions on the Constitution, and he is widely respected on both sides of the aisle," Carrie Severino, JCN's chief counsel, declared in a statement. "Some Democrats may be tempted to obstruct his nomination, but we have already launched a robust campaign in key states, and we will ultimately force vulnerable Senators to choose between obstructing and keeping their Senate seats."

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute, lent his support to Gorsuch as well. He announced that his firm judges a candidate based on whether or not he has "a proven record of upholding the Constitution, especially as it relates to religious freedom." Shackelford declared, "I am pleased to say that Judge Gorsuch has just such a record, authoring or joining multiple landmark opinions upholding religious freedom."

Shackelford listed Gorsuch's decisions on cases involving the abortion pill mandate and on cases upholding the constitutionality of displaying religious-themed monuments.

For these reasons, the secular Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) announced that it was "deeply concerned" about Gorsuch's nomination. "Gorsuch is no friend to the separation of state and church," declared FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Nevertheless, the support among conservatives was deafening, and I for one do not envy the vulnerable Democrat senator who dares thwart Gorsuch's nomination.