Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, appears to have used language from a 1984 article in the Indiana Law Journal without attribution for his book published in 2006, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” according to reports from Buzzfeed News and Politico published late Tuesday.
According to documents provided to Buzzfeed and Politico, Gorsuch uses a passage from the 1984 article almost word for word to describe a case about a child with Down syndrome without citing the article by Abigail Lawlis Kuzma.
Buzzfeed News and Politico also identified other instances in which Gorsuch borrowed ideas and language from law journal articles without properly citing the sources.
In a statement to Politico, the White House dismissed the similarities between the articles and Gorsuch’s book.
“This false attack has been strongly refuted by highly-regarded academic experts, including those who reviewed, professionally examined, and edited Judge Gorsuch’s scholarly writings, and even the author of the main piece cited in the false attack,” White House spokesman Steven Cheung said in the statement. “There is only one explanation for this baseless, last-second smear of Judge Gorsuch: those desperate to justify the unprecedented filibuster of a well-qualified and mainstream nominee to the Supreme Court.”
The White House gave both news outlets statements from professors who reviewed Gorsuch’s work.
Robert George, a law professor at Princeton University who was the general editor for Gorsuch’s book, told Politico that Gorsuch “did not attempt to steal other people’s intellectual property or pass off ideas or arguments taken from other writers as his own.”
“In no case did he seek credit for insights or analysis that had been purloined. In short, not only is there no fire, there isn’t even any smoke,” George added.
The White House also provided a statement from Kuzma defending the similarities between her article and Gorsuch’s book.
“I have reviewed both passages and do not see an issue here, even though the language is similar. These passages are factual, not analytical in nature, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the ‘Baby/Infant Doe’ case that occurred in 1982. Given that these passages both describe the basic facts of the case, it would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language,” she said in a statement provided to Buzzfeed News.
However, some experts told Politico that Gorsuch’s work was sloppy if not improper.
This post has been updated.