Just posting November’s SCOTUS sketches ( I missed the first couple days, so starting on October 31 ) without comments except to note that the election day SCOTUSblog banner at the end of this post is a work of “artistic license.” We know, from his confirmation hearing testimony, that Justice Kavanaugh does not vote, and I expect that may be the case for other justices as well.
The formal investiture of a Supreme Court justice is a merely ceremonial event, and after the fact for Justice Kavanaugh who has been on the bench from the beginning of the this term. But Thursday’s script was slightly different because of two events of the previous day, the resignation of AG Sessions, and Justice Ginsburg’s fall resulting in fractured ribs. As a result Justice Ginsburg was not present on the bench, and the new Acting AG, Matthew Whitaker was at the lectern.
Otherwise it was a packed house with most, if not all, of the DC Circuit present, including Judge Merrick Garland. A lot of US District judges too. And everyone else you would expect like Senators McConnell and Graham ( the later arriving and leaving with the president, further feeding speculation that he may become the next AG ), Kavanaugh’s parents, wife and daughters. POTUS and FLOTUS were the last to arrive and the first to leave.
I thought the Court’s newest justice would have a lot to say during arguments in the church-state separation case, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, heard yesterday. But Justice Gorsuch asked no questions until the very end, and then nothing very pointed.
With the Gorsuch confirmation hearings last week and the removal of the North Carolina transgender case from this week’s argument calendar it’s been an unusually quiet March at the Supreme Court. April may be more interesting when, for better or worse, a ninth justice takes the bench.