Searching for Justice Neil Gorsuch: A Primer

April 17, 2017

After being sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch sat for oral argument for the first time today.

Readers of the Legal Solutions Blog may want to learn a bit about Justice Gorsuch, so here are a few searches to find material on him:

Running a search for “adv: JU(Gorsuch)” in all federal cases will find you the 788 cases in which he authored a lead opinion. For the 40 cases in which he dissented, try “adv: WB(Gorsuch) & DIS(Gorsuch /s dissenting)”.

For all 856 cases in which then-judge Judge Gorsuch wrote an opinion, not just lead opinions, try “adv: WB(Gorsuch)”.  This search finds Judge Gorsuch’s opinion in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114, 1152 (C.A.10 (Okla.),2013), a case that later went to the Supreme Court, with controversial results.

If you want to read every case in which he sat, whether he wrote an opinion or not, you can run a search using the ‘panel’ field, “adv: PA(Gorsuch)”, a search which yields 2,761 results.  Despite the fact that Justice Gorsuch sat on the 10th Circuit, it’s important to run these searches in the ‘all federal’ because, under 28 USCA § 291, et seq., a circuit judge may be appointed to sit on other circuits, and, in fact, the search finds 17 cases in which Justice Gorsuch sat that a 10th Circuit search would not have found.

For a reader looking to get caught up on Justice Gorsuch’s writings, these opinions are a good start, but they’re not the whole story.  He’s also written a few articles for law reviews, with a focus on securities fraud and assisted suicide (a topic on which he’s also written a book). Of particular interest might be a lecture he gave last summer on the legacy of Antonin Scalia, now Gorsuch’s predecessor on the Supreme Court.  A secondary sources search for “adv:AU(neil /s Gorsuch)” will find you all of his writings.  He’s also contributed to a recent work on the doctrine of precedent.

Lastly, for a shot biography, including affiliations and past positions, you can look at Justice Gorsuch’s profile on Westlaw. On his first day on the job, his profile is already updated to reflect his new job title.