Justice Gorsuch Jumps Right Into Questioning In Supreme Court Debut


Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, was sworn in last week, becoming the 113th person to serve on the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch asked four questions in a row in a case involving a procedural issue in a federal worker's claim of employment bias, the Associated Press reports. He smiled as Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. briefly welcomed him and wished him "a long and happy career in our common calling".

"No, just to continue to make it up", Gorsuch said, according to Bloomberg.

Though more restrained in this case than he was in the first argument o the day, Gorsuch drew laughs from the courtroom when one of his questions led to the assistant to the solicitor general to admit that Chester had put forward at least one flawed argument in the case. They declined to hear the long-shot appeal of a New Mexico lawyer who sued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over his refusal to even grant a hearing to Merrick Garland - the judge who might have sat where Gorsuch now sits had the election turned out differently. Gorsuch did not recuse himself from the case but chose not to ask Katyal any questions. This search finds Judge Gorsuch's opinion in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114, 1152 (C.A.10 (Okla.), 2013), a case that later went to the Supreme Court, with controversial results.

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The case itself isn't the problem for Justice Gorsuch.

"Looking at the plain language of the statute, just help me with that", Gorsuch said.

Gorsuch spoke more during his first day on the bench than fellow judge Clarence Thomas has in a decade.

"I'm sorry for interrupting, counselor", Gorsuch told one of the lawyers in the second case, a property dispute from NY state.

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Also on Monday, the Supreme Court released its latest list of cases it plans to decide in the future - or won't hear at all. "So it would be a surprise if he weren't in favor of the interests of the church in this case", said Tom Goldstein, a Washington, D.C. -based lawyer who argues frequently before the court. Trump was able to fill Scalia's vacancy only because Senate Republicans a year ago refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland.

After Gorsuch used a lengthy back and forth with Landau to dissect the law, Justice Samuel Alito remarked that the exceedingly complicated statute could have come from the mind of "somebody who takes pleasure out of pulling the wings off flies".

But the new justice was there, beaming as he and his colleagues took the bench, seemingly eager to prove he was ready for the job ― and every now and then reminding observers of the justice he replaced, Antonin Scalia.

Alito added; "The one thing about this case that seems perfectly clear to me is that nobody who is not a lawyer, and no ordinary lawyer, could read these statutes and figure out what they are supposed to do".

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