Which Supreme Court Justice Hates Neil Gorsuch The Most?
It’s tough being the new kid on the block. As the most junior Supreme Court justice, there were always bound to be some growing pains as Neil Gorsuch became accustomed to the job. But less than a year in, and it’s fair to say he’s rubbed many of his colleagues the wrong way. He dominates oral arguments, is boorish, and is quick to politicize his role on the Court. But the question remains: which of his new colleagues likes him the least?
The Chief Justice is a big proponent of propriety on the Court, and Justice Gorsuch’s behavior, which often flies in the face of tradition, is rumored to irk him. Whether it’s talking way more during oral arguments than new justices typically do, or giving speeches at a Trump hotel, or hitting the campaign trail with Mitch McConnell — the very man who schemed to steal the seat for Gorsuch — the newest justice likes to break from the norms, something that appears to piss off the Chief. Gorsuch also specifically called out a footnote in one of the Chief’s opinions, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer. The majority opinion included some of the more liberal of the Court’s justices, and to keep that majority the Chief included a footnote limiting the scope of the decision to the specific facts at issue. Gorsuch, unwilling to accept the compromise the Chief brokered, wrote an opinion disavowing the footnote. That’s gotta sting.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Sure, all of the liberal justices were undoubtedly pissed that Merrick Garland isn’t their colleague. But there is more than just political animus with RBG. Gorsuch’s combative and pedantic style during oral arguments during the political gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford, led to an epic clapback. The notorious one seems to have the upper hand in their interactions, but there doesn’t appear to be much love lost.
Yeah… she doesn’t like him. Justice Kagan has gone after Gorsuch in the normally secretive conference process, attended by only the nine justices and the fact we know what happened at conference means a Supreme Court Justice tipped the media off to the brewing feud between the two. That fight must have been legendary.
You’d think the relationship between Justice Kennedy and his former clerk would be warm. But things between them have been… awkward since Gorsuch’s swearing in. And Gorsuch felt the need to take a shot at the writing in Obergefell, considered by many the culmination of Kennedy’s pro-gay rights legacy, calling it unclear. And the tension continues, just yesterday at an event Kennedy took a swipe at Gorsuch’s inability to do anything right.
Justice Gorsuch’s very first vote on the Supreme Court was to condemn a man to death by a method that was argued to be cruel and unusual, and Sotomayor wrote an impassioned dissent. Right from the jump it was clear the pair would be natural adversaries on opposite sides of most cases.
Like the other reliably liberal votes on the Supreme Court, Justice Breyer’s legal interpretations differ wildly for Neil Gorsuch’s. But, the two men share many similarities, and events they’ve had together end in “fond reminiscence” that may temper the instinctive animosity.
Justices Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas have together been called “horsemen of the apocalypse.” So, yeah, these bros are pretty tight, and a dark horse to win this poll.
Another long shot, for much of the same reason as Justice Alito. But Justice Thomas’s wife Ginni allegedly got some push back from the Chief Justice after her work against the Affordable Care Act appeared to politicize the Court. Now that Gorsuch makes the Court political on the reg, perhaps resentment simmers.
The Ghost Of Antonin Scalia
This new guy is missing the rhetorical flair of “argle-bargle.”
So who do you think hates the newest Supreme Court Justice the most? Polls will be open till 11/3.
Kathryn Rubino is an editor at Above the Law. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).
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October 27, 2017 at 10:39AM