Republican lawmakers "hit the jackpot" and supporters of Neil Gorsuch are beaming after the jurist's first — albeit abbreviated — year on the Supreme Court, John Yoo and Sai Prakash wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal.
"Justice Neil Gorsuch has lived up to supporters' greatest hopes and critics' worst fears," Yoo and Prakash wrote.
Further, Clarence Thomas has found in Gorsuch a "fellow traveler" as a hard-line originalist of the Constitution, something Antonin Scalia, the deceased justice replaced by Gorsuch, was not, the pair said.
"Astute court watchers have long understood that Justice Thomas was more conservative and intellectually aggressive than Scalia, who once called himself a 'fainthearted originalist,'" the pair wrote in The Journal.
"Scalia sometimes abandoned the constitutional text when it conflicted with traditional values or established precedent," Yoo and Prakash wrote.
"Justice Thomas is a more consistent originalist, willing to reject long-standing doctrine and practice when they flout the Constitution's original meaning. He might have found a fellow traveler in Justice Gorsuch."
And because Gorsuch has planted himself squarely on the side of Thomas and "underscored the court's fault lines," we can expect the next nomination to a battle at fever pitch, the pair predict.
"Justice Gorsuch's noteworthy debut will prompt an even fiercer fight over the next vacancy, almost certain to occur during President [Donald] Trump's term.
"In replacing Scalia, Justice Gorsuch may not have changed the balance of the Court on the most divisive constitutional issues. But his commitment to the original Constitution sets the stage for a noisy confirmation battle," Yoo and Prakash conclude.
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