Supreme Court People and Events News - U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Summaries Blog

Recently in People and Events Category

A president looking to make his mark on the Supreme Court, the logic goes, should nominate younger jurists for the bench. After all, a Neil Gorsuch, at age 49, is likely to have a few more years of adjudicating before him than, say, a 63-year-old Merrick Garland.

That common sense assumption is an accurate one, of course. Younger justices end up serving longer on average, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center. But there are a few important exceptions.

No Supreme Court justice is more conservative than Clarence Thomas, right? With his hardline originalism, his narrow reading of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, his rejection of the Dormant Commerce Clause and stare decisis, Justice Thomas sits proudly on the farthest right wing of the Court.

Except, when it comes to conservatism, Justice Thomas could soon find himself out ranked. Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, is significantly more conservative than both Justices Scalia and Thomas, according to a review of his Tenth Circuit decisions.

Antonin Scalia died one year ago today, yet his influence on American law, and the Supreme Court in particular, remains as large as it ever was. His originalist and textualist approach to the law remains well-established. That approach "changed the way almost all judges, and so almost all lawyers, thank and talk about the law," Justice Kagan said when dedicating the Antonin Scalia Law School in October.

Republicans successfully held off President Obama's nomination for Scalia's replacement in order to ensure that a jurist in Nino's model was able to take "Scalia's seat." Now Neil Gorsuch could be joining the bench, continuing Scalia's legacy.

And while there's plenty to learn from Scalia's approach to statutory interpretation, his skill at writing, or his influence on his colleagues, one recent tribute reminded us of this important lesson from the late justice: always make it home for dinner.

As President Trump's travel ban rockets to the Supreme Court, the administration's Justice Department remains noticeably understaffed -- at least when it comes to the solicitor general. Responsible for arguing on behalf of the federal government in the Supreme Court, the solicitor general's seat remains unfilled. The most likely nominee, Charles J. Cooper, withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday, saying he was no longer interested in the nomination process "after witnessing the treatment of my friend Jeff Sessions."

So, if not Cooper, who might it be?

President Trump has made multiple aggressive critiques of the judiciary in the less than three weeks he's been in office -- and not often in diplomatic terms. Angered by a nationwide temporary restraining order against his executive order on immigration, for example, the president decried a federal judge in Seattle as a "so-called judge" and warned that "If something happens blame him and the court system."

Then, while speaking to law enforcement officers yesterday, the president took aim at the Ninth Circuit panel hearing an appeal from that order, wondering how a court could not grasp concepts that even "a bad high school student would understand."

If such attacks have left the legal community exasperated, they've also started taking a toll on Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, who reportedly called the attacks "demoralizing" and "disheartening," the New York Times reported yesterday.

Speaking at Stanford University last night, Justice Ginsburg discussed what makes a meaningful life, her desire to change the Electoral College, and the importance of kale. There's been, you see, some worry that Justice Ginsburg, 83 years old, might not stay on the bench through a full Trump administration, thereby allowing one of her less-favorite political leaders to pick her replacement. There's even been talk that she should eat more kale, apparently for greater health and longevity.

Asked last night who she thought should eat more kale, the justice didn't skip a beat. "Justice Kennedy," she responded.

Since Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court this week, commentators have been pouring through his past opinions, looking for insight into who he is as a jurist and how he might rule on the Supreme Court. (That includes us at FindLaw. You can check out some of our surveys of Gorsuch's opinions in terms of technology, writing style, possible impact on the Supreme Court, and his legacy on the 10th Circuit.)

But Gorsuch doesn't just write for the court. He's also shared his thoughts, and revealed his worldview, through a large series of articles, speeches, and books, works that make up his nonjudicial canon. Here are a few you should be aware of.

We'll be getting a Supreme Court nominee a little earlier than expected, it turns out. This morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he'll be announcing his Supreme Court pick tomorrow night, a few days ahead of the previously scheduled reveal. (Maybe to distract from something, perhaps?)

Trump's list has been narrowed down to three people, according to insiders: Neil Gorsuch, of the Tenth Circuit, Thomas Hardiman, of the Third, and William Pryor, of the Eleventh. So, if you're looking to catch up on the candidates, here are some great places to start.

Earlier this afternoon, Donald Trump became President Donald Trump. That means many things, but most importantly to this blog, it means that a new Supreme Court justice is on his or her way in the near future. The list of potential nominees, once at 21, has reportedly now been whittled down to about half that, with a few frontrunners.

We have our favorites. But we'd like to hear yours. Let us know below who you think President Trump should nominate for the Supreme Court.

President-elect Donald Trump released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees last May, then nearly doubled it a few months later, putting up ten more jurists as possible Supreme Court justices. He pledged to pick from those 21 in September, a claim Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, reiterated after the election.

Now, Trump has narrowed his choices down even further, according to a report by Bloomberg's Greg Stohr. And he could be announcing his pick soon -- before, even, he's inaugurated on January 20th.