U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is working on a book that will be released in September and include a discussion of his divisive 2017 confirmation fight.
The book, titled “A Republic, If You Can Keep It,” will include eight new essays along with a collection of his writings and speeches. It will be published by Random House’s Crown Forum.
Gorsuch was President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee, filling a 14-month-old vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016. Senate Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, keeping the seat open until Trump became president.
Gorsuch so far has rewarded his conservative supporters. He wrote the court’s opinion this week letting Missouri give a lethal injection to a man who said his rare medical condition could leave him choking on his own blood. Gorsuch said the lethal injection could go forward because the state wouldn’t be “cruelly superadding pain” as part of the execution.
The title recalls Benjamin Franklin’s reported reply as he left the Constitutional Convention in 1787 when he was asked what sort of government the nation’s founders were creating.
Gorsuch was recognized for his writings while a circuit judge, and it’s one reason why the White House selected him, said Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
Mike Davis, a former Gorsuch clerk, said that his old boss has “strived to make his judicial opinions accessible” to everyone.
“You should not have to hire high-priced lawyers to explain his rulings,” Davis said. “Justice Gorsuch believes strongly in the American republic, and he knows any successful republic requires constant public education and engagement. That is the goal of his new book.”
Some justices have made six figures in advances or royalties from books they’ve authored, based on their financial disclosures.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made more than $200,000 in royalties in 2016 for her first book since becoming a justice, “My Own Words.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor nabbed more than $117,000 for two children’s books released in 2018, which were adapted from her 2013 bestseller, “My Beloved World.” She has another book in the works about kids with “life challenges.”
Gorsuch wrote two books prior to joining the high court, including 2016’s “Law of Judicial Precedent” co-authored with Brian Garner and others, including then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Gorsuch also authored “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” in 2006, which pulled in about $9,000 in royalties in 2017.
Justices Antonin Scalia, Steven Breyer, and Clarence Thomas have all authored books while on the high court.
The most prolific book-writing justice appears to have been William O. Douglas, who wrote 51 books.
—With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg.
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(Corrects 2017 royalty information for Gorsuch in paragraph 13. )
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