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A look at some of Judge Neil Gorsuch's notable opinions

By: The Associated Press
January 31, 2017 Updated: January 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm
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Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, has been on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006. Here are summaries of some of his notable opinions:

HOBBY LOBBY STORES v. SEBELIUS: Gorsuch voted with a majority of the 10th Circuit in favor of privately held for-profit secular corporations, and individuals who owned or controlled them, who raised religious objections to paying for contraception for women covered under their health plans.

Gorsuch wrote a separate opinion in which he explained the moral dilemma facing the family that owns Hobby Lobby. "As they understand it, ordering their companies to provide insurance coverage for drugs or devices whose use is inconsistent with their faith itself violates their faith, representing a degree of complicity their religion disallows... No doubt, the Greens' religious convictions are contestable. Some may even find the Greens' beliefs offensive. But no one disputes that they are sincerely held religious beliefs," he wrote.

UNITED STATES v. GAMES-PEREZ: Gorsuch was on the losing end of a vote by the full 10th Circuit over whether to rehear the case of a man who was convicted of having a gun after having earlier been convicted of a serious crime. The issue was whether the defendant knew that his earlier conviction was for a crime that disqualified him from owning a gun.

Gorsuch argued in favor of a new hearing. "None of these arguments compels us to perpetuate the injustice of disregarding the plain terms of the law Congress wrote and denying defendants the day in court that law promises them."

GUTIERREZ-BRIZUELA v. LYNCH: In this 2016 case, Gorsuch wrote for a panel of judges who sided with a Mexican citizen who was seeking permission to live in the U.S. The case gave Gorsuch an opportunity to raise an issue he has championed in his time as a judge: whether courts should so readily defer to federal agencies in determining what laws and regulations mean.

Referring to high-court cases that Gorsuch believes cede too much power to agencies, he wrote: "There's an elephant in the room with us today. We have studiously attempted to work our way around it and even left it unremarked. But the fact is Chevron and Brand X permit 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."

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