For liberals, Gorsuch represented a sure signal of the court’s coming rightward tilt. In an interview with CNN last September, on the eve of the current blockbuster term, Gorsuch was asked specifically about the LGBTQ case as well as a case concerning immigration and the fear of liberals concerning the direction of the court.
In his response, Gorsuch explained how he tackled divisive cases.
“I think all a judge can do is fulfill his or her oath as best they can,” he said, and added “politics, your personal points of view — you leave that over there.”
“When you put on the robe, ” he continued, “you put that stuff aside and you open your mind, and you listen. And that’s all a judge can ever promise. He can’t promise outcomes- can only promise their best efforts in the process.”
At the time Gorsuch was promoting his book, “A Republic, If You Can Keep it.” In it he outlined his judicial philosophy. “Textualism offers a known and knowable methodology for judges to determine impartially and fix what the law is, not simply declare what it ought to be — a method to discern the written law’s content without extraneous value judgments about persons or policies,” he wrote.
When the court heard oral arguments in the LGBT cases in October, Gorsuch hinted at the direction he was headed.
“When a case is really close, really close, on the textual evidence, I’m with you on textual evidence,” he told David Cole, a lawyer representing a transgender plaintiff. “It’s close.”