Make the First Amendment Great Again? Trump’s Potential Supreme Court Nominees’ Views on Free Speech

Make the First Amendment Great Again? Trump’s Potential Supreme Court Nominees’ Views on Free Speech

On January 31, President Trump Nominated Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Based on our analysis of Judge Gorsuch’s opinions, the Institute for Free Speech applauds this choice. Judge Gorsuch is a serious, accomplished jurist who will defend a robust First Amendment. To read our full press statement on the nomination, click here.

For a more thorough analysis of Judge Gorsuch’s prior decisions relating to First Amendment jurisprudence, see the seven posts below:

Gorsuch Follows Precedent in Two Retaliation Cases (February 20, 2017)

Gorsuch Joins Opinion Stating Dancing Doesn’t Cause Public Alarm (February 17, 2017)

Powerful Dissent by Supreme Court Nominee in Fourth Amendment Case (February 16, 2017)

Judge Neil Gorsuch Tackles Thorny Jurisdictional Questions in Important First Amendment Case (February 7, 2017)

Judge Neil Gorsuch Upholds First Amendment Petition Rights in Kansas Tax Dispute Case (January 31, 2017)

Judge Neil Gorsuch: Good Guys, Bad Guys, the Media, and the First Amendment (January 31, 2017)

Judge Neil Gorsuch Writes Sophisticated Concurring Opinion Striking Down Colorado Contribution Limit Disparity (January 17, 2017)

To determine where President Trump’s potential nominees stood on the First Amendment, the Institute reviewed hundreds of court rulings by the judges on the list released by President Trump as a candidate.

We hope this information proved useful for educating the public and the media on the potential nominees’ record on core First Amendment issues.

If you are interested in the First Amendment records of other judges on Trump’s list of prospective nominees, please see the posts below. It is likely that, during the Trump presidency, another seat on the Supreme Court will become vacant. In such an event, many of the same names are likely to once again be floated for a nomination to the Court.

List of IFS posts on the free speech records of judges not yet nominated to the Supreme Court:

More on Judge Thomas Hardiman’s Views on Free Speech (January 30, 2017)

Judge Raymond Kethledge Applies Careful Scrutiny in Striking Contribution Ban, But Waves Through a Law Targeting a Union (January 26, 2017)

More on Judge Diane Sykes: Despite Strong Pro-Free Speech Rulings, Two Cases Where She Upheld Restrictions (January 26, 2017)

More on Judge Diane Sykes: From Backpage’s Adult Ads to Anti-Gay Protests, a Strong Defense of Free Speech (January 26, 2017)

Opinion by Judge Diane Sykes in Barland II “One of the Strongest, Pro-Free Speech Circuit Opinions Post-Citizens United (January 23, 2017)

Good Signs for First Amendment in Judge William Pryor’s Rulings on Tax-Financing, Political Sign Cases (January 18, 2017)

Judge Thomas Hardiman Applied Careful Scrutiny and Invalidated PAC Ban, but Passed on Opportunity to Correct DSF Panel Ruling (January 17, 2017)

Judge Raymond Gruender Supports Nonprofit Speech Rights in Key Minnesota Case (January 17, 2017)

Judge Joan Larsen’s Record Offers Few Clues about Her Views on Free Speech (January 11, 2017)

Judge Charles Canady on Judicial Campaign Speech Rights: Pro-Speech, then a Mystery in Williams-Yulee (January 10, 2017)

Judge Charles Canady in Congress: A Strong but Mixed Pro-Free Speech Record (January 10, 2017)

Judge Steven Colloton Would Grant Lawmakers “Extreme Deference” to Limit Free Speech (January 10, 2017)

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.