Federal Courts and Nominations

Gorsuch Flexes Conservative Judicial Muscle at Supreme Court

By Jason Devaney

Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch has settled into his new job and has returned the court to a conservative slant.

Fox News writes that Gorsuch has contributed to several right-leaning rulings in his first three months of working on the high court. And with rumors swirling that Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — another conservative — could soon retire, President Donald Trump may have the opportunity to nominate another judge to sit on the bench.

Two key case outcomes Gorsuch has influenced at the Supreme Court thus far:

Result: In certain instances, states must provide aid to churches and other religious groups despite separation of church and state laws.

Result: The Supreme Court altered Trump’s travel ban order and ruled the revised version is Constitutional. A full ruling will occur in the fall.

If Kennedy were to retire, Trump would have the opportunity to nominate a judge who is more conservative — a move that could impact the court for decades. For example, Kennedy ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, a decision that made same-sex marriage legal.

“Justice Kennedy has been the deciding vote in favor of marriage equality, recently in favor of racial justice, whether it’s through housing or in education through affirmative action programs,” Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center told Fox News. “So it would be a strong shift of the court to the right [if he retires].”

The Washington, D.C. rumor mill is swirling with reports that the 83-year-old Kennedy will step down from the Supreme Court sometime during Trump’s current term in office.

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