Gorsuch era on United States high court begins with his first three cases

Gorsuch era on United States high court begins with his first three cases

Gorsuch era on United States high court begins with his first three cases

After being sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch sat for oral argument for the first time today.

"I hope so", Gorsuch cut in.

"Wouldn't it be a lot easier if we just followed the plain text of the statute?" asked Gorsuch, who has been described by supporters and opponents as a "textualist" who believes courts should carefully follow the wordings of the laws under review.

For a moment, it was nearly as if Gorsuch was trying to follow in the footsteps of the late Justice Scalia, an avowed textualist.

Gorsuch waited barely 10 minutes into the first of three hour-long cases before kicking off what became a long chain of questions. "What am I missing?"

The new justice took less than 15 minutes before asking questions during an employment discrimination case.

More daunting, perhaps, will be the Supreme Court's unique rhythms and rituals, including the private conferences the justices hold to discuss cases each week when they are in session.

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.

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The 49-year-old Gorsuch echoed his own confirmation hearing testimony with questions focused on the text of federal laws and rules at issue before the court.

Testifying before the Judiciary Committee, Katyal said, "I have seen Judge Gorsuch in action, hearing cases". The justices are arranged on the bench according to seniority, with Chief Justice John Roberts at the center, flanked by Justices Anthony Kennedy (the most senior associate justice) and Clarence Thomas (the second-most senior associate justice).

The court will have its full complement of nine justices, five conservatives and four liberals, for arguments for the first time since the death of long-serving conservative Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

"The statute doesn't seek to make illegal all such acts, only the narrower subset the phrases specify", he wrote.

Gorsuch responded: "Thank you very much, chief justice, and thank you to each of my new colleagues for the very warm welcome I've received this last week".

The judge was also quick to speak up when he felt that he was not getting a direct answer to his questions. If the court rules in favor of the church, it could narrow the separation between church and state.

"In his first case, considering a federal workplace discrimination claim, the newest justice was among the most active of questioners - unusual for the court 'rookie, '" said Fox News. Gorsuch showed no hint of nervousness sitting alongside his eight new colleagues as he grilled lawyer Christopher Landau over the fine points of a law governing civil service employees.

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". He will also vote last when the cases are decided.

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