Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has a problem with suppressing disagreement.
In a recent speech near the courthouse, he told lawyers that people with unpopular views should be allowed to express themselves. "Civility," he said, "doesn't mean suppressing disagreement."
Outwardly, Gorsuch was talking about college students and free speech. Inwardly, it may say something about what's going on at the Supreme Court.
It's no secret that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not the kind to keep her opinions to herself. When your outspoken notoriety rises to the level of Saturday Night Live features, you have transcended Supreme Court fame.
According to mainstream reports, Ginsburg has been "rather quick to redirect rookie Justice Gorsuch's questions" away from the originalist and textualist positions he appears to take.
Ginsburg-Gorsuch may not be a genuine rivalry, but Ginsburg made it clear in the off-season that she was going to change-up the dynamics of courtroom banter. With a recent study that showed male judges interrupt female colleagues more frequently on the bench, Ginsburg has her eye on the newcomer.
Gorsuch may be feeling it, even in closed sessions.
Above the Law says that Justice Elena Kagan does not like Justice Gorsuch. The irreverent publication even calls hims "a bit of a jerk."
"He gets pedantic during oral arguments, he's been boorish and childish, and isn't making any friends on the Court," writes Kathryn Rubino.
According to NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, Kagan is gunning for Gorsuch in conference meetings. "I always thought he was very smart, but he has a tin ear somehow, and he doesn't seem to bring anything new to the conversation," Totenberg said.
Ouch. No wonder Gorsuch is giving speeches about civility and suppressing disagreement. At least lawyers are listening to him outside the courthouse.