Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch may, thanks to Republicans changing the rules of the game to push through his nomination, be representing Donald Trump’s agenda for the next forty years or so — but like The Donald he finds himself the subject of mockery from his peers.
On Monday, Gorsuch’s first day on the bench, Trump’s Chosen decided to make his mark by making a complete ass out of himself and a mockery of the Supreme Court. Fortunately, his fellow Justices take him about as seriously as Gorsuch does women’s rights to make decisions regarding their own bodies.
Gorsuch, however, was enthusiastic as he questioned Chris Landau, the lawyer representing the dismissed Census Bureau worker. Landau asked the court to let the man’s entire suit go forward in a federal district court, rather than waiting for part of the case to be addressed first by a federal appeals court. When Landau said he wasn’t asking the court to “break any new ground,” Gorsuch gave a pointed response.
“No, just to continue to make it up,” Gorsuch said.
Gorsuch’s questions suggested he disagreed with previous Supreme Court decisions that had let federal district courts consider lawsuits that claim violations of federal discrimination laws as well as civil service laws.
His questions drew pushback from Justice Elena Kagan.
“This would be kind of a revolution — I mean, to the extent you can have a revolution in this kind of case,” she said, drawing laughter.
Asking more questions in one day than Clarence Thomas has during his entire time serving on the Court, Gorsuch quickly developed a reputation as a meticulous questioner. In fact, everyone who stood before him found themselves the subject of a barrage of questions — except one, a supporter who introduced him at his confirmation hearing:
That case centered on the constitutional requirements when someone wants to intervene in a lawsuit. Dvoretzky’s adversary in the case was Neal Katyal, the appellate lawyer who introduced Gorsuch at his confirmation hearing.
Katyal’s staunch support for Gorsuch had led some legal ethics experts to wonder whether the justice might recuse himself from the case. Gorsuch sat through the argument and asked no questions of Katyal.
Donald Trump, a joke, nominated a complete joke of a man to the Supreme Court, potentially damaging the ability of our nation’s most vulnerable to find justice for years to come.
Featured image via Getty Images (Drew Angerer)/Win McNamee