Seven Republican appointments to the Supreme Court since 1953 turned out to be less conservative than expected, so the question that arises, as Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Donald Trump, becomes the 113th Supreme Court Justice in American history is, will Gorsuch follow that lead?
At this point, it seems highly unlikely, but there is no way to know how a person on the Court, who potentially could be there for 35 years, until 2052, will react as cases come before him. If he has an open mind, he could surprise us, as history records for appointees of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush prove.
Chief Justice Earl Warren and Associate Justice William Brennan, appointments of Eisenhower, thought to be conservatives, turned out to be path breaking liberals on the Court.
Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, appointed by Nixon, proved to be the same, as did John Paul Stevens, appointed by Ford.
Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, chosen by Reagan, proved to be the swing vote,often siding with the liberal side of the Court, despite their generally conservative bent.
And David Souter, appointed by the first Bush, also proved to be a surprise on his vote much of the time.
So we will see over the next few years if Neil Gorsuch surprises.