Justice Gorsuch on Faith, Over-Criminalization, and Access to Justice: 'We Have a Real Crisis'

WASHINGTON – Justice Neil Gorsuch is President Trump's first nominee to the Supreme Court and after more than two years passing judgment on the nation's most complicated cases, he's written a book where he shares insights into his life on the bench and concerns he's developed throughout his storied career.   We met Justice Gorsuch for an interview in the Solicitor General's office at the Supreme Court.   The Back Story   So many Americans remember the moment in 2017 when he and his wife Louise walked into the East Room as President Trump nominated him to the court.   "Yeah, that moment was a moment when I kind of knew everything was about to change right?" he told CBN News.    And as you may imagine there's a back story there.   "How do you get into the White House without anybody noticing after the president has tweeted out to the American people that they should tune in for an announcement at 8 o'clock that evening? Um, you have to go through the kitchen. So, Louise and I, our first exposure to the White House was through the kitchen," he recalled.   "And then we were escorted upstairs to the president's residence and he had very graciously allowed me to use the Lincoln bedroom as an office for the day and so I wrote my remarks for the East Room that evening seated at a desk where the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address, was right next to me," he said.   His wife, who is originally from England, was given use of the so-called "Queens Bedroom" across the hall. A room named for the number of royals who have stayed there over the years.   In-Laws "We were asked not to make any phone calls, don't tell anybody the news until after the announcement except Louise was allowed one phone call. She could call her folks back in England – she's originally from there – because they figured who cares? Nobody over there is gonna tell anybody anyway. So she calls up her father and she says 'Dad you're never going to guess. Neil is about to be nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States.' And he replies, 'Honey, it's the middle of the night here, but I have been following your American news and they just filmed another fellow. He's in his car and he's at a gas station and he's on his way to Washington. They filmed it about an hour ago, so I hate to break it to ya, honey, but it isn't going to be Neil,' Well, Louise said, 'Dad, I'm sitting right now in the Lincoln Bedroom. I'm pretty sure it's going to be Neil.' And he said 'Honey, but this is President Trump and he loves a surprise and the other guy could be down the hall by now.' So, in-laws, right?" he said with a smile.   Life at Court   As a circuit judge, Gorsuch was celebrated for upholding the religious liberty of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.   In this term of the court, he'll tackle cases dealing with abortion and determine whether the term "sex" applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.   Gorsuch wouldn't discuss matters before the court or other controversial issues, but he did offer insights into what life is like inside the court.   "It is a lovely place and a huge honor, and it is humbling to come to work here every day. I have eight wonderful colleagues, and do we agree on everything all the time? No. You guys give us the hardest cases in all of America to resolve, of course, we disagree," he says.   36 Handshakes   "I kind of wish [Americans] could be a fly on the wall sometimes when we're deciding cases," he says.   "We do too," I responded.   "Well I don't really, no, not you, not reporters," he said sarcastically. "The American people. When we sit in that conference room and decide cases just nine of us around a table and before we ever do any business whether it's going on the bench or sitting in that conference room we shake hands. 36 handshakes. It's a tradition that's gone on for, I don't know 150 years, and it's a moment when you touch somebody personally," he explained.   A Republic, If You Can Keep It   To many Americans, the highest court in the land feels a bit mysterious. After all, no cameras are allowed inside the chamber and interviews like this are rare. But in a new book A Republic, If You Can Keep It ,  Gorsuch offers insights into his thinking and lays out some of the things that concern him as a judge, including access to justice.   "We Have a Real Crisis"   "It's an important subject to me. It's a big part of the book. There are some statistics that ought to disturb us all. Almost all cases today settle before trial. Almost nobody can afford to bring their case before a jury. It's jus ...Read more

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