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Another Trump Team Member Accused Of Plagiarism!

| Filed under: Icky Icky PooPolitikDonald TrumpBookzMelania Trump

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Someone on Donald Trump's team cutting corners? Shocking…

This time, however, the plagiarism accusations are directed toward someone with a bit more impact than an absentee FLOTUS (sorry not sorry, Melania Trump).

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Both Politico and Buzzfeed News published separate reports Tuesday evening pointing out sections of his 2006 book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia are nearly identical to passages from a 1984 Indiana Law Journal article.

Gorsuch's book seems to copy The Legislative Response to Infant Doe exactly — without even attributing the original author as a source!

For instance in her article, Abigail Lawlis Kuzma wrote:

"Approximately twenty-six hours after Infant Doe was born, a hearing was held at Bloomington Hospital to determine whether the parents had a right to choose a course of treatment for their child that consisted of allowing the child to die. An attorney was present at the hearing to represent the child's parents. No attorney was present to represent Infant Doe's interests. Six physicians attended the hearing, three of whom had obstetric privileges and three of whom had pediatric privileges at Bloomington Hospital. The obstetricians 'recommended that the child remain at Bloomington Hospital with full knowledge that surgery to correct tracheoesophageal fistula was not possible at Bloomington Hospital and that within a short period of time the child would succumb due to inability to receive nutriment and/or pneumonia.'"

In his book, Gorsuch wrote:

"Shortly after Baby Doe was born, a hearing was held at Bloomington Hospital to determine whether the parents had the right to refuse the surgery on behalf of their child. An attorney was present at the hearing to represent the parents, though no one was present to represent Baby Doe's potentially adverse interests. Six physicians attended, three of whom had obstetric privileges and three of whom had pediatric privileges at Bloomington Hospital. The obstetricians 'recommended that the child remain at Bloomington Hospital with full knowledge that surgery to correct tracheoesophageal fistula was not possible at Bloomington Hospital and that within a short period of time the child would succumb due to inability to receive nutriment and/or pneumonia.'"

Notice how the bolded part is exactly the same language.

And while the final quoted section (starting with 'recommended that the child…') obviously has to stay the same, the important thing to note is that Gorsuch did NOT cite her article, but rather cited the same source she did, using the exact same quote in the exact same way.

In other words, he took the legwork she had done and just changed a couple words to make it look as if he'd done the research, something Politico says Gorsuch does often in his writings.

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The White House responded immediately to claims of impropriety; spokesman Steven Cheung said:

"This false attack has been strongly refuted by highly-regarded academic experts, including those who reviewed, professionally examined, and edited Judge Gorsuch's scholarly writings, and even the author of the main piece cited in the false attack."

Indeed, the White House did provide a statement by Kuzma:

"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, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the ‘Baby/Infant Doe' case that occurred in 1982. 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."

Difficult? You bet.

In fact, it would have required a strong understanding of the facts in question and the ability to clearly express those facts — and opinions on them — in one's own words.

Which is what he's supposed to have done. That's why plagiarism rules are important. Anyone can change a couple words and pass off an opinion as their own; it doesn't show the kind of insight one might expect from a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

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Moreover, it is NOT just medical jargon that's being repeated. Take a look at this section:

Kuzma wrote:

"The case was unsuccessfully brought before the Indiana Supreme Court on an Emergency Appeal, and the child died on the sixth day after he was born while the guardian ad litem was on his way to Washington, D.C., to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court."

Gorsuch wrote:

"The Indiana Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal, and the child died on the sixth day after he was born while a guardian ad litem was on his way to Washington, D.C., to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court."

That bolded part isn't simply factual; wording it in that way, about the guardian rushing to save the child's life — it's solid, evocative prose.

It's also exactly the same in both works.

But don't take our word for it! We usually write about celebrity peen!

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Politico reached out to multiple experts on academic integrity. Syracuse University's Rebecca Moore Howard said:

"Each of the individual incidents constitutes a violation of academic ethics. I've never seen a college plagiarism code that this would not be in violation of."

Campbell Law School's Elizabeth Berenguer agreed the passage would be investigated "as a potential violation" of her school's plagiarism policy:

"It's similar enough to the original work. I would apply an academic writing standard. Even if it were a legal opinion, it would be plagiarism under either."

Buzzfeed, on the other hand, pointed out other works that also used Kuzma's article as a source and how they DID in fact change the language considerably (and cite her article) despite it being "awkward and difficult."

What do YOU think of this case, Perezcious readers??

[Image via CNN/C-SPAN.]

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