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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (located in Denver, Colorado) for the position of associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The nine-member court has had only eight justices since the death last February 13 of Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia, as the U.S. Senate did not formally consider the candidacy of Judge Merrick Garland, whom then-President Barack Obama nominated on March 16.
The Senate will debate Judge Gorsuch's nomination as it pertains to a number of legal and constitutional issues. I thought it would be interesting to see how the judge has come down on insurance cases during his 10-plus years on the Court of Appeals. I got 152 hits when I did a search on Google Scholar using the terms "insurance coverage Gorsuch". That number includes a lot of cases where he joined an opinion but did not write it. I want to focus on those opinions he wrote so we can get a sense as to how he approaches insurance issues and how he writes about them. Insurance cases that reach the U.S. Supreme Court are quite rare, but Judge Gorsuch is only 49 years old. If confirmed by the Senate, he may well serve for three decades or more. At least some insurance cases will come across the court's docket during that time.