It’s an interesting time for President Trump to be unveiling a new list of conservative jurists that he would consider as nominees should a position on the U.S. Supreme Court become available. The list will come out just days after the Supreme Court, in a majority opinion written by Trump-appointed Neil Gorsuch, ruled in favor of considering sexual orientation a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The 6-3 ruling created controversy because Gorsuch had previously written that laws should be interpreted using plain language considering the times in which they were passed, which is a conservative, contextualist view. However, the opinion he wrote argued for something that seems unlikely to have crossed the minds of legislators in the early 1960s, whether or not a person could be fired simply for being gay.
“Based on decisions being rendered now, this list is more important than ever before.”
The issue underscores a simple truism. People are still people. You never know what they are going to do. As for Constitutional questions, Americans have been fighting for more than 100 years about whether courts should be “finding” new rights in existing laws, or holding to original meanings and requiring Congress to update or change any laws that need attention given current norms.