Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is not a plagiarist, according to the woman from whom he has been accused of lifting materials.
"I have reviewed both passages and do not see an issue here, even though the language is similar. These passages are factual, not analytical in nature," Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, who serves as chief counsel to the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's office, said in a statement made available to the Washington Examiner.
Her remarks came soon after two reports alleged Tuesday evening that President Trump's Supreme Court nominee had "copied" passages in his 2006 book, "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia." The reports alleged he also lifted material for an academic article published in 2000.
The charge, which involves Gorsuch repeating medical terms and not original concepts or ideas, is weak, at best.
"[The similar] passages are factual, not analytical in nature, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the 'Baby/Infant Doe' case that occurred in 1982," Kuzma explained. "Given that these passages both describe the basic facts of the case, it would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language."
BuzzFeed, which was first to report on the similarities between Gorsuch and Kuzma, published a story Tuesday headlined, "A Short Section In Neil Gorsuch's 2006 Book Appears To Be Copied From A Law Review Article."
Politico followed suit, publishing a story titled, "Gorsuch's writings borrow from other authors."
Other newsrooms, including the Huffington Post, Business Insider and New York magazine, moved quickly to repeat the charges against Gorsuch.
Politico bolstered its claim with quotes from multiple academic experts, including Syracuse University's Rebecca Moore Howard‏, who, interestingly enough, is quite open about supporting former President Barack Obama.
However, several additional professors who worked closely with Gorsuch during the period in which he produced much of the work in question said the hints and allegations against the judge are nonsense.
"[I]n my opinion, none of the allegations has any substance or justification," Oxford University's John Finnis said in a statement made available to the Examiner. "In all four cases, Neil Gorsuch's writing and citing was easily and well within the proper and accepted standards of scholarly research and writing in the field of study in which he was working."
Georgetown University's John Keown, who reviewed Gorsuch's dissertation, said elsewhere in a statement: "The allegation is entirely without foundation. The book is meticulous in its citation of primary sources. The allegation that the book is guilty of plagiarism because it does not cite secondary sources which draw on those same primary sources is, frankly, absurd. Indeed, the book's reliance on primary rather than secondary sources is one of its many strengths."
Further, actual attorneys disagree that Gorsuch plagiarized anything.
"People unfamiliar with legal writing, or even writing, may be unfamiliar with how citations work," attorney Thomas Crown explained Wednesday. "When I cite to a case or statute, if I am quoting verbatim, I give a direct quotation, with apostrophes and everything, and then the source. If I am summarizing, sometimes even using the same words, I follow with the direct citation. The Bluebook, which is the legal style Bible, is for law reviews and some appellate and trial courts, and has more specific rules.
"I mention this because this is standard across numerous fields, not just law, and only illiterates … are shocked," he added. "Different field with different standards and forms; but even most academics believe that a good synopsis with citation isn't plagiarism."
In conclusion, he wrote, "I don't want to ruin a perfectly good five-minute hate, but this isn't even close to plagiarism."