President Donald Trump’s nomination of 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court landed McGuireWoods partner John Adams, an old friend and fellow clerk, on national cable news.
Adams, chairman of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Department, remembered Gorsuch as a bright jurist dedicated to recognizing the original intent of the Constitution’s framers. Both men clerked for Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and both later became U.S. Supreme Court clerks — Gorsuch for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, and Adams for Justice Clarence Thomas.
“He’s an incredibly intelligent man, but he’s also a very kind, gracious and polished person,” Adams replied when asked by CNN anchor Carol Costello if Gorsuch is a clone of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whose seat he would fill. “He’s certainly not a Scalia clone in the sense that he has some views that are a little different” from Scalia’s.
“I think what we can expect from him is that he will follow the textualist — or the originalist — approach to deciding cases,” he said on the live Feb. 1 CNN appearance.
In an interview less than an hour later on Fox Business, host Stuart Varney asked Adams to address Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer’s claim that Gorsuch had shepherded corporate interests over those of working families and been hostile to women’s rights.
“Judge Gorsuch is not pro-corporation. He’s not anti-corporation. He’s not pro-citizen (or) anti-citizen. He’s a judge who is pro-Constitution. He understands that the Constitution protects the liberty of American citizens by restraining the power of government and he’s going to interpret the Constitution based on its text,” Adams replied.