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March 19, 2017

What crime and punishment questions might you like to see asked of SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch?

I am not really expecting any tough sentencing questions to be directed toward Judge Neil Gorsuch at his coming Supreme Court confirmation hearings, but that will not stop me from imagining what such questions might sound like or from encouraging readers to share their ideas on such questions.  And though I might readily spin out a long list of such questions here, I will be content for now to rattle off just two that come to mind on a Sunday afternoon during a brief break from bracket obsession:

A few prior related posts on Judge Gorsuch:

March 19, 2017 at 06:51 PM | Permalink


He probably would avoid answering the question but something along the lines of: Gideon and other cases establishes the right of every person to counsel and access to the tools necessary for a defense in a criminal case. Strickland assures that every defendant has the right to competent counsel -- a counsel that takes reasonable steps to prepare for a case and engages in a reasonable strategy. Changes in technology and the information available to defense counsel makes it possible for counsel to do more in a case than was previously possible, but that ability to do more runs the risk of making a defense unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans. How should courts and legislatures go about deciding the level of resources that need to be made available for different types of cases and who should receive the services of appointed counsel (free or at a reduced fee)?

Posted by: tmm | Mar 20, 2017 1:15:04 PM

Since he can't talk about potential cases, his views on the Sixth Amendment, an approach of formalism vs. functionalism, how he views Miranda and/or the exclusionary rule. Whether he takes a pure originalism approach to Eighth Amendment questions.

Basically, to what extent does he agree with Justice Scalia and to what extent does he disagree.

Posted by: Erik M | Mar 20, 2017 1:57:56 PM

Does Judge Gorsuch believe that an inmate of a prison (though innocent and called a first time offender) that served his full time should be punished the rest of his life?

Posted by: LC in Texas | Mar 20, 2017 9:15:58 PM

I oppose the Gorsuch nomination.

I would have no questions. I would advise all Senators to pass on asking questions. Gorsuch will answer all of them with the standard duck and weaving. That means, running away while moving one's head up and down to avoid getting hit. He will stonewall all questions with deference to precedent, keeping an open mind, and inability to prejudge hypotheticals.

An even number of Justices is better policy. 4-4 decisions allow lower court decisions to stand, but to apply to their Circuit. This reduces the power of the Supreme Court to mess things up with their awful 5-4 decisions.

He believes in the inviolability of human life. He is a cruel man, placing his religious and philosophical beliefs above real people. He has no compassion for dying people in pain.

He will be moving to Washington and will quickly absorb its degenerate, rent seeking culture. He will become another Kennedy or Roberts. Those two have been man made catastrophes for our lawyer besieged nation.

Harvard Law School asshole. No matter what he says, he has been indoctrinated into supernatural doctrines. He has been indoctrinated into big government philosophy. Worse, he had good grades there. That means he fit in very well.

Gorsuch is awful, really bad news for all freedom loving people.

Posted by: David Behar | Mar 21, 2017 8:24:40 AM

@tmm. Do you have any question not involving defense bar employment?

Posted by: David Behar | Mar 21, 2017 8:27:28 AM

tmm offers a good question.

I would generally want to know his basic ideology behind making decisions in this area. The second question put forth by Doug B. is also good.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 21, 2017 10:24:53 AM

tmm offers a good question.

I would generally want to know his basic ideology behind making decisions in this area. The second question put forth by Doug B. is also good.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 21, 2017 10:24:53 AM

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