Federal judge Neil Gorsuch allegedly copied text and language from several sources without proper attribution in two of his written works, throwing an 11th-hour curveball into the Senate confirmation process for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
BuzzFeed first published excerpts of Gorsuch’s 2006 book on euthanasia Tuesday night that showed strong similarities between his writing and a 1984 Indiana Law Review article by Abigail Lawlis Kuzma. The book was an expanded version of the judge’s 2004 dissertation for his doctorate in philosophy at Oxford University. Even in the dense, formulaic world of legal writing, the similarities are striking.
“Down’s syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that involves both a certain amount of physical deformity and some degree of mental retardation,” Gorsuch wrote in one notable example. “Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula means that the esophageal passage from the mouth to the stomach ends in a pouch, with an abnormal connection between the trachea and the esophagus.”
“Down's syndrome or ‘Mongolism’ is an incurable chromosomal disorder that involves a certain amount of physical deformity and an unpredictable degree of mental retardation,” Kuzma wrote in her article two decades earlier. “Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula indicates that the esophageal passage from the mouth to the stomach ends in a pouch, with an abnormal connection between the trachea and the esophagus such that substances taken orally pass to the lungs instead of the stomach, eventually resulting in suffocation unless surgery is performed to correct the malformation.”