The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Group seeks records of Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch’s time at Justice

President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, on Capitol Hill on Feb. 1. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

An organization that advocates for transparency at the Supreme Court filed a lawsuit Friday to hurry the Department of Justice into releasing records on President Trump’s high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Gabe Roth, executive director of the group Fix the Court, said he has been waiting months for records concerning Gorsuch’s service at the DOJ in 2005 and 2006. He said it is important that any pertinent information in the records be available to the public before the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on Gorsuch next month.

“I have no idea what we’re going to find, but he was in the DOJ during tumultuous times,” Roth said. “I think it’s important for the public to know whatever is there.”

Gorsuch served just over a year as deputy assistant attorney general before President George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver.

Simply stated, Gorsuch is steadfast and surprising

Roth said he considered seeking the same records from the DOJ of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. He dropped the effort after it became clear Senate Republicans were not going to hold a hearing on Garland’s nomination.

He then made requests for all of those on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees who had served at DOJ. He refined his request on Gorsuch, and is seeking any complaints about Gorsuch made by members of the public, correspondence involving the nominee, performance reviews and any reprimands or warnings that Gorsuch might have received.

Roth said he filed the request in December, and was told on Jan. 26 that the department would need 10 more days to respond. He said he has not heard back since then and filed the lawsuit to move the process along.