Late Tuesday night, mainstream media outlets pushed stories accusing Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch of plagiarizing a segment of his 2006 book on assisted suicide and euthanasia.
According to the accusations, Judge Gorsuch copied a couple of paragraphs from the 1984 Indiana Law Journal article written by Lawyer Abigail Lawlis Kuzma about the 1982 “Baby Doe” case. The alleged plagiarism is less than 300 words in a book surpasses a 130,000-word count.
While outlets like Politico are pushing the story as headline news, the alleged victim is speaking out. Kuzma, who now serves as a deputy attorney general in Indiana, has made it clear that Gorsuch’s work cannot be characterized as plagiarism. In a statement she explained her stance:
“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.”
Others have come out in support of Gorsuch and the authenticity of his work, including Robert George, general editor for Gorsuch’s book publisher, Princeton Press, as well as Oxford University Emeritus Professor John Finnis, who supervised Gorsuch’s dissertation in Oxford. Finnis wrote in a statement released by the Whitehouse:
“[I]n my opinion, none of the allegations has any substance or justification. In all the instances mentioned, Neil Gorsuch’s writing and citing was easily and well within the proper and accepted standards of scholarly research and writing in the field of study in which he and I work.”
The media accusations come as the Senate debates Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination. Democrats, with the support of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have pledged to filibuster Gorsuch in an attempt to vindicate Merrick Garland, Former President Obama’s Supreme Court pick.