DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was Celebrity Apprentice meets the Supreme Court. "Definitely lots of drama compared to the ordinary process of doing this," said Mark Kende, Drake University Professor of Law, as he sat and watched President Trump's Supreme Court Justice Nominee announcement on television from his home.
In fact, the hype, build up, and theatrics of the president's announcement was perhaps the most unique thing about this whole roll-out, as these announcements are usually done during the day and without this much fanfare "It`s a choice that`s similar to some of the current justices," said Professor Kende. "He has...impeccable ivy league credentials, he clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court," he said.
Kende, who's the Director of The Constitutional Law Center at Drake University, says what he finds most interesting about the president's selection, is that the views of Neil Gorsuch are well known and documented. "He`s given speeches endorsing Justice Scalia`s approach to the Constitution at universities.He has been a part of judicial opinions involving the contraceptive mandate to the Affordable Care Act and a religious objection to it, and supported the religious objection," said Kende.
And because Gorsuch has a paper trail, Kende says you can bet those who are in disagreement with him on those controversial issues will look very closely at it, and that will likely lead to a contested nomination process. "His position with regard to religious liberty trumping let`s say what one might call a women`s right, in certain views would be I think objectionable. His position on originalism, among certain people, certain lawyers, people who want to see the law used to achieve social change and justice, his approach, originalism, is a backwards looking approach," said Kende.