Media Ignorance Strikes Again as Reporter Claims Neil Gorsuch Is Just Like 'Woke' Historians

(AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz, File)

That members of the mainstream press are ignorant of conservative positions (and facts in general) typically comes as no surprise to any of us, but a piece at NBC News this morning that appears to be some sort of “analysis” is particularly ignorant.


The item in question is titled “Conservative Justice Gorsuch echoes ‘woke’ historians in railing against historical injustices.” and it’s not only premised on a foolish assumption of the conservative position on “wokeness,” but once again draws on uninformed tropes about Supreme Court Justices rather than the actual facts.

The piece opens with the assumption that Gorsuch being a conservative justice and his views on the history of Native American policy in the U.S. are, somehow, diametrically opposed.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump, but in a series of recent cases, he has spoken up about historical injustice in a way that seems at odds with Republican attacks on “woke” history’s being taught in schools.

That included his opinion Thursday when the court rejected a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, a law intended to keep Native American families and communities together when children are in the adoption or foster care process.

Gorsuch’s concurring opinion was part history lesson and part explanation of his full-throated support for Native Americans.

He wrote about how Native American families were torn apart by federal and state officials’ attempts to assimilate them into Anglo-centric American society by eliminating their cultural ties to their tribes.


As we’ve seen time and time again, the left – which so often includes the mainstream media – has misinterpreted the right’s opposition to “woke” history revisionism. What Gorsuch wrote in his opinion is historical fact, which has been accepted by both sides of the political aisle for a lot longer than the 1619 Project and his supporters have been around revising history.

It is a fact of United States history that our policies when it came to Native Americans were abusive attempts to eradicate Native American culture and force their assimilation into American culture. The only disagreement among scholars might end up being a discussion over whether or not it was necessary to achieve the United States we have today – and most agree that the ends may not have justified the means.

Our policy toward Native Americans was as morally reprehensible as slavery, but it is something that happened and we as a country cannot ignore it. The right, by and large (as there are some elements among it that do want to revise a much rosier picture of American history, though they are not nearly as mainstream as the left makes them out to be), acknowledges this, and it’s the preamble of the Constitution that drives us forward.

We are, after all, in pursuit of a more perfect Union. No serious person truly claims we are perfect, but we are always in pursuit of perfection in governance.


But the NBC News writer continues, showing more ignorance toward Justice Gorsuch and conservative legal thought in general, because the assumption is that conservatives are (or should be) of unified legal mind and Gorsuch is anything but (nevermind, of course, that Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh have also split from the otherwise conservative majority a time or two).

Those isolated writings, in which he is often joined by liberal justices, are in stark contrast to the bulk of his votes, in which he is closely aligned with the Supreme Court’s conservative majority. Last year he voted to overturn the landmark abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade and to expand gun rights. He has also joined the majority in curbing federal agencies’ power to enforce environmental laws, among other cases in which the conservative majority prevailed.

Last week, Gorsuch dissented when the court on a 5-4 vote upheld a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, a law enacted to protect the rights of minority voters.

But a close look at Gorsuch and his legal philosophy (which the writer attempts but falls far short of) reveal that none of this is really that much of a shock. When Gorsuch was nominated, it was understood that he was an originalist – someone who looks for the original meaning of the law as it was written rather than interpreting the law in a modern era.


That would conflict at times with modern conservative legal thought but doesn’t make him any less conservative of a justice. But the idea that it’s weird that he would so often be at odds with the political conservative movement is a projection from someone clearly of the left. They believe that you must circle the wagons and be on board with people who share your ideology at all times is ridiculous and undermines the entire point of the Supreme Court.

None of this makes Gorsuch a rogue. It makes him a good and fair Justice. Sometimes we’ll agree with him, sometimes we won’t. But he’s consistent, and he clearly has a good grasp of the law and history, which is something that appears to mystify the left.


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