Neil Gorsuch on Supreme Court: 'Do you really want me to rule the country?'

Supreme Court Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchIt wasn't just religious liberty that Chief Justice Roberts strangled Supreme Court denies California church's challenge to state restrictions Speculation swirls about next Supreme Court vacancy MORE responded to critics who might think that it is the job of judges to fix politics in an interview with CNN released Tuesday.

"Do you really want me to rule the country?" he asked.

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"It is a raucous republic and the battle of ideas is what our founders had in mind," he continued. What they didn't have in mind "was nine old people in Washington sitting in robes telling everybody else how to live."

Gorsuch was appointed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE in 2017 to fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

He told CNN that he wants to continue Scalia's work by reinvigorating a judicial philosophy that looks to the original meaning of the Constitution.

Gorsuch said that his job is enforcing that approach "as faithfully and fearlessly" as possible. 

"The most vulnerable among us has the same rights as the richest and the most powerful," he added.

Gorsuch defended his strict adherence to the constitution, a position called originalism.

"I say the country is owned by We The People," he explained. "We wrote a Constitution, we put down what we wanted to put in it. We can amend it when we wish and it is not up to nine people to tell 330 million Americans how to live."

In his new book, "A Republic, If You Can Keep It," Gorsuch explains it another way: Under originalism a judge can't add or subtract rights "willy nilly."