This was the only reaction to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s answer when asked by Sen. Ben Sasse about how he’d know he was a good judge when he retired — or passed away.
“Senator, that’s a question I ask my kids every semester when I teach ethics,” said Gorsuch, who often gives ethics lessons at the University of Colorado Law School. “They hate it. They think it’s corny. Well, it might be a little corny.”
Then, he delivered an incredible and emotional response:
“And people want to be remembered for the kindnesses they showed other people, by and large. What I try to point out is, it’s not how big your bank account balance is, nobody ever puts that in their draft obituary, or that they billed the most hours, or that they won the most cases. It’s how they treated other people along the way.
“And for me, it’s the words I read yesterday from Increase Sumner’s tombstone. And that means as a person, I’d like to be remembered as a good dad, a good husband, kind and mild in private life, dignified and firm in public life. And I have no illusions that I’ll be remembered for very long.
“If Byron White is as nearly forgotten as he is now, as he said he would be, I have no illusions, I won’t last five minutes; that’s as it should be. The great joy in life, Shaw said, is devoting yourself to a cause you deem mighty before you are thrown on the scrap heap. An independent judiciary in this country, I can carry that baton for as long as I can carry it, and I have no illusions i’m going to last as long as you suggest, and that’ll be good enough for me,” he concluded.
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