FROM Mark Joseph Stern
Gorsuch sworn in to fill ninth SCOTUS seat After more than a year since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in today as the ninth Justice of the US Supreme Court. Today's oath was administered, not by Chief Justice John Roberts, but fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy. President Trump explained, “It is a fitting testament to Justice Kennedy's impact that upon giving the oath to Justice Gorsuch, he will become the first ever Supreme Court justice to serve with one of his former law clerks.” Mark Joseph Stern, who reports on the court for Slate.com , says Gorsuch will soon cast a vote in a series of blockbuster cases.
Opening day of the Gorsuch nomination hearings Republicans in the Senate never allowed a vote on President Obama's appointment of Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court. Democrats have not forgotten. That was clear today as the Judiciary Committee took up President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch . Mark Jospeh Stern , legal affairs reporter for Slate , has an update.
The brewing battle over Number 9 In splashy prime-time fashion President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch , a federal appellate court judge from Colorado to the US Supreme Court yesterday, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate a conservative originalist. At 49, Gorsuch is expected to keep the court's conservative status quo for years to come. Some Democrats want to fight the nomination as payback for Republicans stonewalling President Obama's own pick, for nearly a year. Will the GOP escalate all the way to what's called “the nuclear option -- and do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees altogether?
A strange new term begins at the US Supreme Court Photo by Matt Wade Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died early this year, and the Senate has not even considered President Obama's nominee to replace him. Today, the Court heard the first arguments of this year's session with an empty chair -- and an uncertain future. Mark Joseph Stern, who covers the Court for Slate, looks at which cases are likely to make the news.
Is Justice Ginsburg Risking Her Legacy Over Trump? In the past week, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, has publicly criticized Donald Trump—suggesting that his election as President would pose a danger to the Republic. Her remarks been criticized from the left and the right. The New York Times says Ginsburg “needs to drop the political punditry and name-calling.” Yesterday, Donald Trump called it “inappropriate” for a judge to “get involved in a political campaign.” Later, he tweeted, her “mind is shot” and she ought to “resign.” Photo courtesy: European University Institute
NC Governor Sues Federal Government over "Bathroom Law" Governor Pat McCrory today said North Carolina's new law regulating the use of public bathrooms by transgender people has become a national issue. The State has already sued the federal government for over-reach. " The Obama Administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set basic restroom policies, locker room and shower policies for public and private employers across the country and not just in North Carolina." Mark Joseph Stern, who covers legal affairs and LGBT issues for Slate , has an update.
Could Texas Become Nearly Abortion-Free? Access to abortion is already limited to 20 or so clinics in Texas. Now a federal court ruling could close down even more. Yesterday, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey , the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of abortion limits in the Lone Star State — partly on the ground that women in Texas can drive to another state. We hear more from Mark Jospeh Stern, who covers legal affairs and LGBT issues for Slate.com , and investigative reporter Erica Hellerstein of Think Progress , who covered abortion access at the US-Mexico border.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.