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Supreme Court

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  • As confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch wrap up and Senate Democrats vow to filibuster his nomination, we look at Gorsuch’s ruling in a case known as the "frozen trucker." Truck driver Alphonse Maddin was fired after he disobeyed a supervisor and abandoned the trailer that he was driving, because he was on the verge of freezing to death. We speak with Robert Fetter, the attorney who represented Maddin in his wrongful termination lawsuit.

  • We feature an extended excerpt of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) grilling Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing about the so-called frozen trucker case of Alphonse Maddin. Gorsuch ruled it was right for Maddin to be fired after he disobeyed a supervisor and abandoned the trailer that he was driving, because he was on the verge of freezing to death. "It is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice of possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving in an unsafe vehicle," says Sen. Franken. "It makes me question your judgment."

  • By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
    The magnitude of a Supreme Court nomination should not be underestimated; it comes with a lifetime appointment to the bench, with far-reaching, sometimes life-or-death implications. No one understands that better than Alphonse Maddin.

  • Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is heading to Capitol Hill today for his third day of confirmation hearings. On Tuesday, he was questioned for over 10 hours by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He faced particularly intense scrutiny over his decision to rule against a truck driver whose employer fired him for deserting a trailer so he wouldn’t freeze to death. For more on this case and the rest of Gorsuch’s record, we speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. We also speak with Elliot Mincberg, former chief counsel for oversight and investigations of the House Judiciary Committee.

  • During Tuesday’s hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch faced questions about his views on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and the $10 million dark money campaign supporting his nomination. A recent New York Times investigation reveals Gorsuch has close ties to Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz. For more, we speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and with Elliot Mincberg, former chief counsel for oversight and investigations of the House Judiciary Committee.

  • Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was tapped by President Trump to fill the seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death over a year ago. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Scalia nearly a year ago, but Republicans refused even to hold hearings, fearing that Garland would tip the ideological balance of the court to the left. Now Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Democratic lawmakers to refuse to vote on Gorsuch’s confirmation while the Trump administration is under FBI investigation. For more, we speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and with Elliot Mincberg, former chief counsel for oversight and investigations of the House Judiciary Committee.

  • Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is heading back to Capitol Hill today for a second day of confirmation hearings. During Monday’s hearing, Democratic senators repeatedly criticized Gorsuch’s record, as well as their Republican counterparts for refusing to take up the nomination of President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Neil Gorsuch has a long history of ruling against employees in cases involving federal race, sex, age, disability and political discrimination and retaliation claims. For more, we speak with Ian Millhiser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and editor of ThinkProgress Justice. His recent piece is headlined "The Judge Gorsuch who spoke in the Senate today is nothing like the man who wrote his opinions."

  • All eyes are on the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who is facing his second day of confirmation hearings. But Trump has 123 other federal judgeships to fill, because Senate Republicans blocked many of Obama’s nominees. We take a look at how a top official at the Federalist Society, named Leonard Leo, is playing a key role in helping Trump reshape the nation’s judicial landscape from behind the scenes. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eric Lipton of The New York Times. He recently co-wrote a piece headlined "In Gorsuch, Conservative Activist Sees Test Case for Reshaping the Judiciary."

  • Confirmation hearings begin today for Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch would give conservatives a narrow 5-4 majority on the court. When he was first nominated, Gorsuch praised Antonin Scalia. As a judge on the 10th Circuit, Neil Gorsuch ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in the case deciding whether the company could refuse to provide birth control coverage to employees as required by Obamacare. Judge Gorsuch also has a long history of ruling against employees in cases involving federal race, sex, age, disability and political discrimination and retaliation claims. For more, we speak with Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout. She recently ran for a congressional seat in upstate New York. Her recent piece for The Washington Post is headlined "Neil Gorsuch sides with big business, big donors and big bosses."

  • As confirmation hearings begin for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, we look at his record on voting rights and speak with Ari Berman, senior contributing writer for The Nation. His recent piece is headlined "In E-mails, Neil Gorsuch Praised a Leading Republican Activist Behind Voter Suppression Efforts."

  • As Neil Gorsuch begins his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, we look at his extreme right-wing political positions as a student at Columbia in the 1980s and speak with his former classmate, Jordan Kushner. While on campus, Gorsuch co-founded the right-wing campus newspaper the Federalist Paper. The Associated Press reports that in Gorsuch’s writing both for the Federalist Paper and the Columbia Daily Spectator, he criticized anti-apartheid protests, saying divestment could hurt the university’s endowment. He also criticized racial justice protests and black-led movements on campus, while he defended the Reagan administration during the Iran-Contra scandal.

  • In a setback for the transgender rights movement, the U.S. Supreme Court has announced it is sending a landmark transgender case back to a lower court. The suit was brought by Virginia transgender high school student Gavin Grimm, who sued his local school district over its policy forcing him to use a separate, single-stall restroom that no other student was required to use. In a one-sentence order, the Supreme Court vacated an appeals court decision that had ruled in Grimm’s favor. The ruling comes less than two weeks after President Trump rescinded President Obama’s directive telling public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms matching their gender identity. For more, we speak with Gavin Grimm and ACLU attorney Chase Strangio.

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