The first Gorsuch
Before Neil Gorsuch, there was his mother, Anne, the EPA’s first female administrator. “Known for wearing fur coats, driving a gasguzzling Cadillac, and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day,” historian Meg Jacobs recalls, “Gorsuch took Washington by storm.” She cut her agency to the bone, slashing enforcement actions by 73 percent, rolling back clean air and water rules, and promoting “voluntary compliance by industry.” Gorsuch also sped approvals for spraying restricted pesticides, and purged the agency of employees deemed too zealous. Her tenure was short-lived, however: After less than two years, Gorsuch was forced to resign in a scandal over mismanagement of the Superfund program. She remained embittered for the rest of her life, saying President Reagan abandoned “me and my people, people whose only ‘crime’ was loyal service.” Gorsuch died of cancer at 62 in 2004.