When Judge Neil M. Gorsuch went before the Senate in March as President Trump’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, he sought to assure senators he would be independent and above the political fray.
“There is no such thing as a Republican judge or Democratic judge,” he said more than once. “We just have judges.”
But in just his first few weeks on the high court, Justice Gorsuch has shown himself to be a confident conservative activist, urging his colleagues to move the law to the right on religion, gun rights, gay rights and campaign funding.
He dissented along with Justice Clarence Thomas when the court rejected a gun-rights challenge to California’s law that strictly...