Hearings begin today on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and the University of Virginia is doing its part to inform lawmakers and the public as Sandy Hausman reports.
When law librarians at several universities and government offices began getting questions about Neil Gorsuch from their patrons, UVA’s law school decided to create a website called the Neil Gorsuch Project. Librarian Jon Ashley headed a team of nine at UVA, the Universities of Richmond, North Carolina and Illinois. They posted all of the nominee’s decisions and about 20 publications and speeches.
“There are about 860 of his opinions that Neil Gorsuch has either authored, concurred or dissented on," Ashley says. "We also provide the text and the video from his speeches.”
The hardest thing, Ashley recalls, was cleaning up the court decisions.
"It’s not that there are notes in the margin. It’s just that sometimes the formatting doesn’t come out exactly, so line breaks occur in weird spot, also footnotes appear in weird sections – really basic stuff like that."
But Ashley is no stranger to big projects of this kind.
"I’ve scraped out all of 27 million copyright registrations records from the copyright office‘s website," Ashley admits with a smile. " I know you’re cringing. They actually asked us if we would help them get the records in shape to be released to the public."
Next on his list, a website showing how the justice department handles corporate crime.