May 01, 2017 Articles

Stay in Your Lane and Stick to the Text: Justice Gorsuch on Class Actions

What litigators need to know about the newly minted justice's opinions in class action cases.

By Ashley Bruce Trehan

On April 10, 2017, former Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as Associate Justice for the United States Supreme Court. Legal news outlets have extolled Justice Gorsuch’s writing style. Partisan commentators have praised or condemned—depending, obviously, on their political leanings—his view of the Constitution. But for class action practitioners, what impact might his confirmation have?

While the Tenth Circuit is not known for having an extensive repertoire of class action opinions compared with, for example, the Seventh or Ninth Circuits, Justice Gorsuch has written opinions that shed light on the position he might take in class action disputes before the high court. This article highlights a handful of opinions that confirm that—at the very least and true to his reputation—Justice Gorsuch will interpret statutes and rules strictly and will endeavor to ensure the U.S. Supreme Court does not overstep its bounds.

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