If confirmed, he'll be the second-most conservative member of the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Trump’s first nomination to the Supreme Court, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, is even more conservative than Justice Antonin Scalia was.

If confirmed, he’ll be the second-most conservative member of the Supreme Court, according to one political scientist’s ideology measurement, though still not nearly as conservative as Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Anthony Kennedy would remain the swing vote on the court, with four justices more liberal and four justices more conservative than he.

That’s according to a methodology for scoring how conservative or liberal judges are, called the “judicial common space” scores, developed by a political scientist at Washington University in St. Louis.

As FiveThirtyEight found, Gorsuch was basically tied with Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Kethledge for being the most conservative judge on Trump’s shortlist. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William Pryor is slightly more conservative than Scalia was, while Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Hardiman was about as moderate as you can get: significantly to the left of Scalia and Justice Samuel Alito, and slightly to the left of Justice John Roberts.

So how did Gorsuch get his conservative score? It helps that he’s partial to originalism, the idea that the Constitution’s meaning doesn’t change over time, and that it should be interpreted how the Founding Fathers would have interpreted it.

What a novel idea.

Jason Russell is the contributors editor for the Washington Examiner.

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