Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s pick for the US Supreme Court, has been accused of including language from other authors in his own writing without proper attribution.
Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday night that portions of one chapter in Gorsuch’s 2006 book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” and an academic article from 2000 contain text borrowed from other works without credit to the original authors.
In some instances, Gorsuch allegedly “borrowed from the ideas, quotes and structures of scholarly and legal works,” Politico reported, citing documents related to the matter.
A prominent example cited by Politico notes that Gorsuch appeared to copy passages for his book that were originally published in an Indiana Law Journal article — without attributing the article’s original author, Abigail Lawlis Kuzma. Gorsuch apparently cited Kuzma’s sources instead, while copying her verbiage nearly word-for-word without crediting her.
Critics have suggested the incidences call into question Gorsuch’s qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, which itself has been a long-playing battle in Congress since Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead last year.
Kuzma and the White House have both come to Gorsuch’s defence. Kuzma, who is now Indiana’s deputy attorney general, said “These passages are factual, not analytical in nature. It would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language,” Politico reported.
White House spokesman Steven Cheung waved off any suggestions that Gorsuch acted improperly, calling it a “false attack” by critics “desperate to justify the unprecedented filibuster of a well-qualified and mainstream nominee to the Supreme Court.”
The plagiarism accusations surfaced on the same night that Democrats dug in their heels on the Senate floor to stall a vote on Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon held the floor for hours Tuesday night while a threat from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell loomed, opening up the possibility of a rules change that would eliminate the filibuster and hasten Gorsuch’s confirmation.
At least two other people in Trump’s orbit have been accused of plagiarism. Monica Crowley, an early pick for Trump’s National Security Council was forced to withdraw her name from consideration in January. And First Lady Melania Trump garnered national criticism for copying, nearly verbatim, excerpts of a speech from former First Lady Michelle Obama for her own speech at the Republican National Convention in July.
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