Of those who voted for candidate Trump in November, 75% reported that filling the open seat on the Supreme Court was an important or the most important factor in their choice. Tonight, President Trump moved to satisfy them by nominating Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the high court vacancy. As the National Law Journal describes him, “Gorsuch, 49, who has been on the Tenth Circuit since 2006, is known as a consistent conservative much like the late Antonin Scalia in his embrace of originalism in interpreting statutes and the Constitution.”
That would appear to bode well for gun rights. In a world where the Heller decision hangs by a slim 5-4 margin, the nomination of an originalist — someone who can reasonably be expected to support and defend the individual right to keep and bear arms as laid out in the Second Amendment — would satisfy a large majority of those who pulled the lever for Tump. For them, anything else the new President may accomplish will be gravy.
Will a Justice Gorsuch be a jurist in the Scalia mold we all have hoped for? Only time will tell. At only 49 years old, he can reasonably be expected to be on the Court for at least another 20 years, maybe 30. In the mean time, there’s reason for optimism. The People of the Gun will certainly be watching with interest.