One of Trump’s SCOTUS Appointments, Justice Neil Gorsuch, May Have Committed a Major Violation of SCOTUS Code of Conduct

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Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch recently dined with Republican senators, and a whole host of other high-level Washington officials.

All Republicans, of course.

Flickr / LBJ Library /

Gorsuch was sworn into to the Supreme Court after the seat remained vacant for a full 14 months following the death of Antonin Scalia.

Scalia’s seat set the record for the longest vacated as Republicans held it hostage in hopes that Obama would be replaced by a Republican, whether Russian-installed or otherwise.

Flickr / Senator Claire McCaskill /

As a result, Democrats were almost unanimous in opposing Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. But Republicans availed themselves of the so-called “nuclear option” in order to change the rules so that they could confirm Gorsuch to the court with a simple majority.

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He was ultimately confirmed him in April 2017 after a 54-45 vote.

“Supreme Court” by Mark Fischer is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

As it happens, Elaine Chao is married to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Details of the dinner are scant, but it’s surprising that Gorsuch would choose to engage in such a way.

While nobody is publicly raising ethical questions at the moment, the Code of Conduct strongly cautions judges against wading into political matters:

Canon 4: A Judge May Engage in Extrajudicial Activities that are Consistent with the Obligations of Judicial Office

“A judge may engage in extrajudicial activities, including law-related pursuits and civic, charitable, educational, religious, social, financial, fiduciary, and governmental activities, and may speak, write, lecture, and teach on both law-related and nonlegal subjects.

However, a judge should not participate in extrajudicial activities that detract from the dignity of the judge’s office, interfere with the performance of the judge’s official duties, reflect adversely on the judge’s impartiality, lead to frequent disqualification, or violate the limitations set forth below.”

Of course, we can’t prove there was politicking at the dinner in question. Republicans are historically such a witty, chill, and affable bunch — maybe they were just having a raucous and apolitical good time?

The post One of Trump’s SCOTUS Appointments, Justice Neil Gorsuch, May Have Committed a Major Violation of SCOTUS Code of Conduct first appeared on TPL News.

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