March 31, 2017
On Tuesday night’s leaders’ conference call, Virginia Armstrong made a few comments that participants seemed to appreciate and also offered some information easily accessible on the Internet. Her comments were basically that she had felt some initial concern about Judge Gorsuch because he has such a blank slate on the homosexual activist agenda and so she “went looking” for solid info and found the following:
(1) She learned that in studying for his Ph.D. in legal theory at Oxford (a scholarly achievement of stratospheric heights and greatly to his credit), Gorsuch was mentored by Professor John Finnis, who is considered one of the finest natural law scholars in the Western academic world. His influence, plus the fact that Gorsuch would have to have been exposed to a wide variety of thinking about law (surely including attention to Blackstonian thought), that American legal education would typically avoid like the plague, is most encouraging. Gorsuch made some comments that clearly reflect his Oxford years. She found the following two articles by Prof. Finnis:
- The Good of Marriage and the Morality of Sexual Relations: Some Philosophical and Historical Observations
- Law, Morality, and “Sexual Orientation”
Virginia continues… “They both hit the homosexual rights issue head-on and constitute the finest body of high-level scholarly refutation of this menace that I’ve been blessed to read. They are obviously challenging reading, but Eagles can certainly understand quickly many of the Finnis arguments. These are a resource to which I believe we can return for additional ammunition and never run out. Given that Finnis did influence Gorsuch (a fact to which Gorsuch Oxford classmate, Robert George, has testified), we can extrapolate that Gorsuch would certainly lean toward the Judeo-Christian position in homosexual rights cases. Incidentally, Dr. George has expressed his strong support for the Gorsuch nomination. Of course, we can’t take that assumption too far.
(2) Therefore, I was delighted to hear a section of Gorsuch’s testimony at his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing – late on the second night. Sen. Chris Coons (D -Del.) directly challenged Gorsuch on abortion and homosexual rights. Gorsuch deftly responded in what I view as the correct and encouraging combination of answers to some questions and refusals to answer other question. it seemed to me that his responses indeed line up with the positions one would expect of a student of Prof. Finnis who carries into the courts what he learned in the classroom (he’s already been doing that in religious liberty cases and his pronouncements on life issues).
I hope that these thoughts are helpful. They are only mine and worth no more than that. But I’d be glad to hear from any of you with questions or comments about this critical Gorsuch nomination. I have always viewed Court Watch as a resource to which folks can go for information on the courts, Constitution, and Culture War. I certainly am far from having all the answers but I am allergic to unanswered questions and therefore obsessively seek to find answers for you when I don’t have them initially! Please feel free to contact me: 325/232/2210; firstname.lastname@example.org