American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.

He continued: “This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary.”

In August 2016, Gorsuch laid out his views on judicial deference to executive branch agencies in a concurrence to his own opinion in an immigration case, Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Loretta Lynch. The Chevron deference doctrine, he wrote, permits “executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design. Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.”

In his 2015 financial disclosure form, Gorsuch reported holdings valued at more than $7 million. The University of Colorado Law School paid him $26,000 last year for teaching courses on legal ethics.

Gorsuch is the son of Anne Gorsuch Burford, who headed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency early in the Reagan administration. She was a controversial figure who set out to shrink the agency. After refusing to turn over certain documents to a House of Representatives committee, she was found in contempt of Congress and resigned in 1983.

Copyright National Law Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.