...More Trump Appointees?? “Sources who’ve spoken to the president about the Supreme Court say he tells them he thinks he’ll have appointed four justices by the end of his first term. “It’s all about the numbers for him,” one source said. Asked how he comes to that jaw-dropping number, Trump mentions the obvious: he’s already replaced Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, and there are rumors Anthony Kennedy will retire. “Ok,” one source told Trump, “so that’s two. Who are the others?” “Ginsburg,” Trump replied. “What does she weigh? 60 pounds?” “Who’s the fourth?” the source asked. “Sotomayor,” Trump said, referring to the relatively recently-appointed Obama justice, whose name is rarely, if ever, mentioned in speculation about the next justice to be replaced. “Her health,” Trump explained. “No good. Diabetes.” AXIOS
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch mocked the conservative Federalist Society’s critics along with his own detractors during a speech to the group’s annual conference in Washington on Thursday.
Speaking in a cavernous hall just blocks from the high court, Gorsuch poked fun at those who’ve painted the Federalist group as a secretive organization intent on quietly taking over the judicial branch as well as other legal posts across the administration and White House.
Gorsuch’s speech was a triumphant moment for the organization, which has played an outsized role in President Donald Trump’s judicial picks and now counts scores of its members in powerful positions throughout the Trump administration.
“Tonight I can report, a person can be both a committed originalist and textualist and be confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Gorsuch said to applause from the well-dressed and well-heeled crowd that gave him standing ovations at the beginning and end of his remarks. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and prayers through that process.”
At one point during his 33-minute address, Gorsuch also indicated emphatically that he plans to remain on the court “for a very long time.”
The only other Supreme Court justice in attendance was Samuel Alito.
Top figures from Congress were also on hand, including Sens. John Cornyn, Ben Sasse, Mike Lee and Luther Strange, as well as several Trump Cabinet members, including Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Elaine Chao and Alexander Acosta.
The new justice portrayed the Federalist Society’s goals not only as benign, but as a welcome and much-needed corrective from an era in which federal judges felt increasingly empowered to issue sweeping rulings that had little to do with laws passed by Congress.
“The duty of a judge is to say what the law is not what it should be,” the justice said.
Gorsuch vowed to continue to expound the group’s favored judicial philosophies from his new post.
“Originalism has regained its place and textualism has triumphed and neither is going anywhere on my watch,” the justice vowed.
At his confirmation hearings, Gorsuch faced searing criticism over an opinion he issued last year as a 10th Circuit judge. In the dissent, he said labor law permitted a trucking company to fire a truck driver for decoupling the truck cab from a trailer and abandoning it, even though the driver said he was at risk of freezing to death if he remained in place on the frigid highway.
Gorsuch invoked that ruling Thursday, saying he was obliged to follow the literal terms of the law Congress wrote, even if doing so was bound to draw public anger.
“When it’s done everyone, who’s not a lawyer is going to think I just hate truckers … but so be it,” Gosuch declared to knowing laughter from the audience. “In our legal system, judges wear robes, not capes.”