A Jeffersonian for the Supreme Court

Jeffrey Rosen – The Atlantic:

because of Gorsuch’s appealing and collegial personality and temperament, he could certainly join with the liberal and conservative justices on the Roberts Court to form a united front against clear and present threats to the First Amendment or to the constitutional order. At a time when progressives are rediscovering the virtues of Madisonian checks on populist excesses and federal power, Gorsuch may be precisely the kind of bipartisan Jeffersonian justice the country needs.

Gorsuch’s constitutional vision is more Jeffersonian and less deferential to federal power than that of his Hamiltonian predecessors, Jackson and Scalia. If he succeeds Scalia and Jackson on the Court, he will likely be even more willing to enforce constitutional limitations on any excesses committed by the president who appointed him.

Though the Left sees cause for rejection, I see reason for hope. If Gorsuch is, indeed, Jeffersonian and worries the concerns of Madison as Rosen writes, we may be in wisely guided hands with him on the Court.

One thing to keep in mind is the way many Republican-appointed justices have ruled. In many cases they’ve found cause to decide against the common “wisdom” of the Right. Witness Justice John Roberts’ decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. How many conservative presidents have come to regret their nominations? (Most.)

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