Gorsuch to hear major religious liberty case

Gorsuch to hear major religious liberty case

Gorsuch to hear major religious liberty case

Justice Neil Gorsuch made his big debut in the Supreme Court's marble courtroom on Monday.

The justices turned to that question a few minutes after taking the bench at approximately 10 a.m. this morning.

Gorsuch joins the court as it rounds the final turn of a term set to conclude by the end of June.

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

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 case was about federal workers who lost their jobs.

"Wouldn't it be a lot easier if we just followed the plain text of the statute?" His silver hair looking recently trimmed, and he wore a dark red tie under his black robe. He rarely stopped smiling.

Where in the Constitution does it say that the majority leader in the Senate gets to decide which president will appoint justices to the court? "We wish you a long and happy career in our common calling", Roberts said. "I appreciate it very much".

Gorsuch laughed and flashed a quick smile as Justice Sonia Sotomayor, sitting beside him on the far-right side of the bench, whispered something in his ear.

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The second case of the day, Town of Chester, N.Y., v. Laroe Estates, was another complicated matter involving when a development company can intervene in a lawsuit brought by a landowner against a local government.

"I'll let you go", Gorsuch told Shay Dvoretzky, a Washington attorney with the firm Jones Day, after repeatedly pressing the attorney on a point. "Your client, page 162, wants damages for itself".

Not only did he ask questions, but he was confident enough in his constitutional prowess to challenge the lawyers in the room.

The Court was hearing arguments in a case involving a technical issue about the process for a federal worker to appeal his discrimination claim. "What am I missing?" Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general in Democratic former President Barack Obama's Justice Department, heartily endorsed Gorsuch's nomination, even testifying at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.

All previously clerked for Gorsuch at the appeals court level and two also clerked for other Supreme Court justices, according to a report on the blog abovethelaw.com.

On Wednesday, the court will hear arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer.

While it is unusual for junior justices to ask so many questions during oral arguments, the court does not have strict rules on questioning.

A former acting US solicitor general, Neal Katyal is now with the firm Hogan Lovells.

He also apologized to Landau for asking so many questions in a row.

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