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Noah Feldman

Neil Gorsuch Is Channeling the Ghost of Scalia

The justice who replaced the late Supreme Court giant aspires to inherit the mantle of conservative intellectual thought leadership.

Thinking big.

Thinking big.

Photographer: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Neil Gorsuch has big ambitions.

Every Supreme Court justice wants to do good work, write good opinions and influence the trajectory of American law. Justice Gorsuch wants more: intellectual leadership of the conservative legal movement. That would make him the heir to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he replaced in 2017 after the Senate refused to vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.