Gorsuch Writes a First Opinion That Would Make Scalia Proud

Maureen Collins | June 12, 2017
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Recently-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gosruch has just written his first opinion for the highest court in the land with unanimous backing from his colleagues. In the debt collection case Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., Gorsuch proves that he is an originalist and a textualist like his predecessor, Justice Antonin Scalia. 

The case is on a dispute over the definition of "debt collector" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). True to the Constitution, Gorsuch writes that SCOTUS can't legislate from the bench simply by guessing what Congress would have done. He writes:

"...while it is of course our job to apply faithfully the law Congress has written, it is never our job to rewrite a constitutionally valid statutory text under the banner of speculation about what Congress might have done." 

Gorsuch's Opinion also shows that he is a textualist, meaning he believes judges can only work with what Congress has written in the law in front of them and not what Congress might have intended. (Shout out to Justice Robert's 2015 majority opinion in King v. Burwell , which decided Congress meant the opposite of what they wrote.)

Like Scalia, Justice Gorsuch believes that proper grammar is important to interpreting the law. 

When Antonin Scalia passed away unexpectedly in February 2016, it became clear that whoever won the 2016 presidential election would determine the fate of the Supreme Court by nominating the next justice. Exit polls indicated that 21 percent of Trump voters voted for him because of the open Supreme Court seat. 

Scalia, a legal giant and conservative icon, left big shoes to fill. Today, Gorsuch showed us that he is up to the challenge. 

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