A top legal adviser to former President Barack Obama gave a robust endorsement Wednesday for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, saying he has “a commitment to judicial independence.”
Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, said Judge Gorsuch “brings a sense of fairness and decency to the job, and a temperament that suits the nation’s highest court.”
“I have no doubt that if confirmed, Judge Gorsuch would help to restore confidence in the rule of law,” Mr. Katyal wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “His years on the bench reveal a commitment to judicial independence — a record that should give the American people confidence that he will not compromise principle to favor the president who appointed him.”
Mr. Katyal, a law professor at Georgetown University, said he has observed Judge Gorsuch in court and worked with him on the Federal Appellate Rules Committee.
“If the Senate is to confirm anyone, Judge Gorsuch, who sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, should be at the top of the list,” he said, calling the nominee “an extraordinary judge and man.”
Mr. Trump announced the nomination Tuesday night to fill a vacancy on the high court created by the death last year of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Democrats have vowed to try to filibuster the nomination, after Senate Republicans refused to give Mr. Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, a hearing.
Mr. Katyal said Judge Gorsuch “has written opinions vigorously defending the paramount duty of the courts to say what the law is, without deferring to the executive branch’s interpretations of federal statutes, including our immigration laws.”