American Bar Association Gives Gorsuch Top Rating, Says He’s ‘Well-Qualified’

Neil Gorsuch / Getty Images
• March 10, 2017 1:55 pm


The American Bar Association declared on Thursday that President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, is "well-qualified" to succeed the late Antonin Scalia.

ABA's chair Nancy Scott Degan said the group's standing committee on the federal judiciary reached a unanimous decision and that Gorsuch received the group's highest rating, Politico reported.

Degan informed the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), of the group's decision in a letter on Thursday. She also informed White House counsel Don McGahn and Gorsuch through a written letter.

When Grassley received the news, he released a glowing statement on Thursday.

"The ABA's ringing endorsement is no surprise given Judge Gorsuch's sterling credentials and his distinguished decade-long record on the Tenth Circuit," Grassley said. "Former Chairman [Patrick] Leahy and Minority Leader [Chuck] Schumer have called the ABA’s assessment the ‘gold standard' in evaluating federal judicial nominations. In light of Judge Gorsuch's impeccable record, it's hard to imagine any other result from the ABA's consideration."

Gorsuch is a Harvard Law graduate, a recipient of the prestigious Marshall scholarship to attend Oxford University, and he also carries qualities that many observers find reminiscent of Scalia, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

He has served on the Colorado-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006 and previously was a clerk for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.

Trump's nominee to the high court also previously worked in a private practice at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, and as an official in the Justice Department during the Bush administration.

Gorsuch is known as a conservative judge who, like Scalia, is a strong textualist with an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. He has pushed back against efforts to derail religious expression in public spaces and has defended religious exemptions, objecting to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.