School of Education News

‘The next Scalia?’ UW’s Underwood examines Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

February 09, 2017

UW-Madison’s Julie Underwood takes a look at President Donald Trump’s newly named Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in her latest “Under the Law” column, which is now available via the February issue of Phi Delta Kappan magazine.

The article is headlined, “The next Scalia?”

Underwood begins by writing, “In this season of presidential appointments, we’ve all been watching as Congress and others have probed the backgrounds of candidates to get some idea about how these individuals will serve this country. Any presidential appointment is important, but few have the far-reaching influence of a single Supreme Court nominee.”

Julie Underwood 150
Underwood notes how the nomination of Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia has “sparked many questions about how he will affect the court’s ideological balance — now divided between four conservatives and four liberals” and many are no doubt wondering how his appointment might affect the “outcomes of cases that bear upon K-12 education.”

Underwood -- a professor of law and educational leadership and policy analysis –- then takes a look at Gorsuch’s track record from his service on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Upon reading various cases, Underwood explains Gorsuch has a “clear and concise writing style” and adds “his opinions pay clear deference to earlier judicial authority, carefully building on or distinguishing the facts and law.”

Underwood, the former dean of the School of Education, closes her column by writing, “as a conservative replacement for Scalia, Gorsuch merely resets the status quo from before Scalia’s death. But if Kennedy (age 80), Ginsburg (83), or Breyer (78) leave the Court during the Trump presidency, Trump would be able to cement a conservative court for years to come.”

Make sure and check out this month’s entire Under the Law column by Underwood for a more in-depth look at this important topic.

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