At first glance, federal appeals judge Neil Gorsuch seems to be a Scalia clone. The president nominated him for the U.S. Supreme Court. Here is the analysis in Politico.
Like the legal thinkers on the far right he believes in an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. That is, he wants to stick with what the founding fathers intended. (As if that even can be reconstructed. Never mind if it's relevant centuries later.)
He is a strong defender of the right to religious beliefs. For example, he ruled that companies, based on their religion, could withhold medical coverage for contraceptive devices.
And he is committed to the courts deciding legal issues, not regulatory bodies. The alt-right wants to blow up many existing regulatory entities.
However, what makes him a wild card in terms of his conservatism is his youth. He is only 49 years old.
A big job like being on SCOTUS can change one, especially someone just entering middle age. There is no predicting how having all the responsibility could influence his legal ideology.
It is well known that John Roberts has not proved out to be the chief justice he was "supposed to be." For example, he defended Obamacare. Roberts took on the job in 2005 when he was 50 years old. That's only one year older than Gorsuch. Neither conservatives nor liberals had the right take on what his legal decision-making would be.
The reality is that professionals change and times change. Already, conservatism seems to be fragmenting as a result of Trumpism. Today, at 21st Century Fox, leaders Lachlan and James Murdoch opposed Trump's immigration order. Historically, the company's Fox News unit had been a bastion of far-right ideology.
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