Gorsuch says Supreme Court not split on partisan lines

dublinbay z6 (KS)

Surprise! Despite all the heat and passionate opposition that Supreme Court nominations create, the Supreme Court itself, says Justice Gorsuch, operates in a very civil and friendly manner.

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"The conventional wisdom that the court is split along partisan lines based on the political views of the president that appointed each justice is false, a U.S. Supreme Court justice said.

Justice Neil Gorsuch spoke about civility. . . , refuting the notion that judges are just "like politicians with robes."

Gorsuch is considered one of the Supreme Court's most conservative members, though he recently agreed with more liberal colleagues in a decision reaffirming a criminal defendant's right to a jury trial.

Gorsuch denied that justices' decisions are predictable, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News reported.

"Rubbish," he said.

[. . .]

Gorsuch said he doesn't recognize the court reflected in media hinting at deep divisions among the nine jurists.

He told the audience at Brigham Young that the justices eat packed lunches together while Justice Stephen Breyer tests out knock-knock jokes that his grandchildren taught him. Gorsuch said he and his colleagues sing happy birthday to each other, grill burgers at employee picnics and play practical jokes.

"That's the Supreme Court I know," he said.

Officials say the Supreme Court's justices rule unanimously in 40% of the 70 cases they hear in an October-to-May term."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/gorsuch-says-us-supreme-court-220536719.html

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It's good to know that justices are not partisan ideologues--since they are the final "check and balance" in our democratic system.

Kate

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maddie260

I say "Rubbish" to Gorsuch.

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maddie260

To add to my above comment: they may act civil, but vote partisan.

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maifleur01

With many of their recent decisions to protect someone they are definitely voting partisan.

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maifleur01

Edited to add that the reason he was added to the court is to be a partisan.

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Carro

maddie260

To add to my above comment: they may act civil, but vote partisan.

Obama's leftists appointees vote together 90% of the time.

Trump's "conservative" Constitutional appointees vote together 70% of the time.

You were mentioning about partisan?

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Carro

Kavanaugh and Merrick voted together 93% of the time.

You mentioned partisanship?

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catspat(aka)

Gorsuch also thought his mother was right and shouldn't have resigned. He was clueless there, too. I still remember giving a cheer the day she resigned.

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Andie

Kate, did someone hack your account?

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Gorsuch is considered one of the Supreme Court's most conservative members, though he recently agreed with more liberal colleagues in a decision reaffirming a criminal defendant's right to a jury trial.

Oh My, that tough decision must have kept the poor guy awake at night.

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Carro

Andie

Kate, did someone hack your account?

What's wrong with her OP? It's not catawampus or anything.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

As far as I know, there is nothing wrong with my account. Why do you ask, Andie?

Kate

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Janie

Kate, did someone hack your account?

Maybe Kate forgot the sarcasm alert

Gorsuch says Supreme Court not split on partisan lines

What's in his fruit punch?

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Andie

Phew! That's a relief. I really thought she was serious.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I'm not making any claims one way or another about the world of supreme court justices. I just thought Justice Gorsuch's viewpoint on the topic was surprising and thought I'd share it with you. Knowing very little about the extra-judicial world they inhabit, I was struck by the world he describes--knock-knock jokes, grandkids, grilling burgers and singing happy birthday, etc. I'm reminded of something I read about RBG being great friends with Scalia--and Kavanaugh has noted how friendly he was welcomed by RBG and the other supremes.

What impact that has on their decisions, I don't know, but I've never seen them comment on the crucial role they play in functioning as the final "check and balance" in our government. Is our awareness of the need for that role not shared by the justices?

Actually, I don't know what to make of Gorsuch's comments and wondered what you folks would make out them. I guess it is pretty clear how you view Gorsuch's words, but I'm left wondering why he would say such things if there weren't some truth there.

What say you?

Kate

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maifleur01

My take is that he is attempting to plant the idea that even though the recent cases that have been brought before the court where they have sided in favor of what Trump wanted the court is impartial. Better to lay the ground work now before they have to decide if Congress has the authority to impeach and remove a President. Any President.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

The Court is known for being quite collegial. Differences of opinion can be had without people losing respect for one another and becoming impolite. The acrimony we see in the general these days with people taking extreme views is ginned up to sell copy, ratings and eyeballs.

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mudhouse

I think there are two topics here; the ability of the justices to treat each other with civility and respect, and whether or not they always vote along partisan lines. I've read the same thing you did, Kate, about Scalia and Ginsberg being very close, and I agree with you it's good to know that the justices are not partisan ideologues.

Stephen Breyer, on working with the other justices:

https://www.keranews.org/post/stephen-breyer-how-supreme-court-justices-get-along

“My job is to think what I think, but work with eight other people. And I have to get to a situation where I’m trying to get an opinion of the court. The world is not interested, shouldn’t be, in the Constitution according to me, or Sandra O’Connor, or Nino Scalia, or somebody else. It’s interested in what the opinion of the court will be. We’re in a world where we have to work together over a long period of time to do our job. I think in that period we’ve learned that it works best when, as I’ve said, I’ve never heard a voice raised in anger in that conference room no matter how outrageous I think the other position is. Doesn’t matter. They might think mine is outrageous. I’ve never heard a voice say of another person anything insulting or rude. Just doesn’t happen.”

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mudhouse

On the second topic, voting along partisan lines: here's a column with specific examples from the most recent Supreme Court session, showing that's not always the case:

https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/opinion/88134/opinion-scotus-showing-subtleties-of-jurisprudence

"We tend to think of U.S. Supreme Court justices as ideological, their views and actions mapping neatly onto the conventional liberal-to-conservative continuum of American politics. Their decisions are thought to conform to the party of the president who nominated them.

...The term that finished in June generated several decisions consistent with this view ...But the application of law and interpretation of the Constitution are different from policy making. And, despite liberal condemnation of the current court’s majority as brazenly and irredeemably conservative, the term that closed in June provided some interesting illustrations of the subtleties of jurisprudence. It was hardly the calcified institution observers claim it to be."

- In the appeal of a murder conviction based upon a discriminatory disqualification of a black prospective juror, Ginsburg and Gorsuch teamed up to oppose the majority, both saying the defendant had been a victim of double jeopardy.

- Gorsuch and Breyer “switched sides” on a case upholding a blood test of an unconscious driver suspected of intoxication.

- Gorsuch joined his liberal colleagues in ruling a federal law that increases penalties when a gun is used in a crime is unconstitutionally vague.

- Roberts joined the liberal justices in one death penalty case.

- Kavanaugh joined the liberal justices to allow purchasers of IPhones to sue under antitrust legislation.

- Breyer and Kagan were part of the majority ruling the 40-foot cross honoring veterans in Maryland park didn’t violate the Constitution.

- All nine justices voted unanimously to put a hold on Trump's efforts to add a citizenship question to the U.S. Census.

The author, a professor of political science at NC State University, lists more examples than those I listed above. He concludes that political ideology and judicial philosophy are different, and that the Supreme court can be volatile, and the members independent.

"The justices apparently get along, perhaps because they don’t need to face voters and raise money. But it’s also because working in close quarters and directly with one another permits opportunities to display intellect and personal warmth and create relationships of respect that facilitate coalition building and civil disagreement."

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Rina

Mudhouse, I like that last quote, and I can see that might well be the case -- particularly as "they don't need to face voters and raise money". I do think, though, that personal inclinations will sometimes, and sometimes in very important cases, influence the way an individual Supreme Court justice rules. Fortunately, they are very well trained in impartiality and the law, but like any human being, there may be a conflict between their training and their deep emotions. That is why a politically balanced Supreme Court is important -- it may matter in cases that profoundly affect the future of the country.

I was utterly disgusted when President Obama was blocked from his right and duty to appoint a new Supreme Court justice. It was one of the dirtiest pieces of politics ever. That said, the current president had the right to proceed according to his own lights. Or darknesses.

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Rina

ETA: Not to the extent of severely limiting an investigation into one of his own nominees, of course. Heck, he could propose Mickey Mouse, but he would have had no right to limit and investigation into whether his candidate was a rodent.

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Rina

Eish -- "an investigation", not "and".

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