As Supreme Court Justice Nominee Neil Gorsuch works toward being more than simply a “nominee,” Democrats are looking for anything and everything to block his ascension into Supreme Court Justicehood. Recently, the liberal attackers pitched some supposed-plagiarism dirt to multiple publications. Their finger-pointing platform rests on excerpts in Gorsuch’s book elaborating on assisted suicide and a more-than-10-years-old academic piece they swear he copied. Amid their passive-aggressive efforts, they hooked Politico:
“Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch copied the structure and language used by several authors and failed to cite source material in his book and an academic article, according to documents provided to ‘POLITICO.’
The documents show that several passages from the tenth chapter of his 2006 book, ‘The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,’ read nearly verbatim to a 1984 article in the ‘Indiana Law Journal.’ In several, other instances in that book and an academic article published in 2000, Gorsuch borrowed from the ideas, quotes and structures of scholarly and legal works without citing them.
The findings come as Republicans are on the brink of changing Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch over the vehement objections of Democrats. The documents could raise questions about the rigor of Gorsuch’s scholarship, which Republicans have portrayed during the confirmation process as unimpeachable.”
This foxhole-prayer attempt at professional damnation should ultimately be dismissed, as it arrived mere days (not even three) prior to determination whether or not Gorsuch becomes part of the US Supreme Court—the judge’s works have been teetering on the “Scales of Justice” for months. Then again, are the charges legitimate? Politico referenced evidence dictating a dismissal of ethics—that’s not what happened here. The National Review‘s Ed Whelan wrote on the dirt throwing’s tardiness and mentioned additional academics, who are well versed in citation rules:
“Dr. Chris Mammen, a fellow student of Gorsuch’s at Oxford, emphasizes that the ‘standard practice in a dissertation is to cite the underlying original source, not a secondary source, that supports a factual statement.’
Oxford Professor Emeritus John Finnis, who supervised Gorsuch’s dissertation and has reviewed the charges, says that ‘none of the allegations has any substance or justification’ and that Gorsuch’s ‘writing and citing was easily and well within the proper and accepted standards of scholarly research and writing in the field of study in which he was working.’
At least four other academics have reviewed and rejected the plagiarism charges. But that evidently won’t stop some newspapers from scurrilously spreading them.”
While Politico’s piece cites examples, Gorsuch’s work dictates no examination and/or judgement—irony not intended. His writing in question is mostly specific elaborations on clinical ailments. For the sake of argument, take a piece on cocaine usage. If there were a couple lines defining “stimulants,” when scouring the Internet, it’s a safe assumption the search would avail infinitely many findings entailing pieces paralleling those words. It wouldn’t necessarily fall under intellectual-property theft.
Amazingly, Indiana Attorney General Office of Consumer Protection Director & Chief Counsel Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, who authored the Indiana Law Journal article in question, wouldn’t even cosign the accusation(s) against Gorsuch. Politico actually provided her statement in their article—platform crumbled.
“These passages are factual—not analytical in nature,” Indiana Deputy Attorney General Kuzma said. “It would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language.”
Plagiarism is certainly a growing epidemic in the digital age. It’s safe to assume people will be called out left and right, as content (even ancient scripts) is now easily and safely stored on megaservers. However, with infinite information online, it’s often the author/publisher themselves may never know…unless a faithful ally brings it to the proverbial surface.
Much like other current issues, the Democrats ultimately pulled at straws here. Nevertheless, they’ll probably boast of this for years to come. Then again, others may recall it as the day liberals made a pathetic attempt at filibustering Gorsuch out of the Supreme Court, which failed.