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Trump Supreme Court pick collaborated on book with U. professor

Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nomination for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, collaborated on a book titled "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia" with University Professor and McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence Robert George. The book was published by the Princeton University Press in 2006.

“I met Neil Gorsuch in the 1990s when he was a graduate student at Oxford University. He was completing a doctorate in philosophy of law under Professor John Finnis, who had supervised my own doctoral studies at Oxford several years earlier,” George wrote in an email to the 'Prince.' “I was struck by his intelligence and moral seriousness.”


When Gorsuch was seeking to publish his book, he submitted it to the Princeton University Press: New Forum Books, at George’s suggestion.

“[The manuscript] went through the normal scholarly review process, earning praise from the anonymous outside reviewers who were commissioned by the Press to evaluate the manuscript, and was accepted for publication,” George wrote.

The text explored arguments surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide, examining ethical consideration on both sides of the debate and ultimately arguing against these practices.

“Gorsuch chose the topic of assisted suicide and euthanasia because of its inherent interest and contemporary social and political significance,” George wrote.

While Gorsuch was at work on the book, the Supreme Court ruled on euthanasia in two cases, Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill, which both held that the Constitution does not grant the right to assisted suicide.

In 2015, George and Gorsuch also collaborated on a volume of essays, of which George was a co-editor and Gorsuch a contributor, entitled “Reason, Morality, and Law: the Philosophy of John Finnis.” The collection was written in honor of Finnis, who was retiring at the time.


“Gorsuch’s essay rigorously explored questions of how legal systems handle the allocation of risk,” George wrote. “Where an effort to achieve a socially desirable goal or set of goals unavoidably creates burdens of risk of loss or harm, how should the burdens be allocated?”

George and Gorsuch have also participated in academic conferences together, including one for the University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, of which George is the founding director.

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