Thursday, August 17, 2017
As reported, the newest Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, appointed by President Trump is scheduled to deliver a talk at the “Defending Freedom Luncheon,” hosted by the nonprofit Fund for American Studies, an invitation-only event to be held at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.
It's not the conservative Fund for American Studies sponsorship that is attracting attention, but the venue of the private Trump Hotel. As the emoluments clauses challenges to Trump's alleged intermingling of his office and his personal profits proceed, it is possible that the issue will reach the United States Supreme Court, including facts about functions at the Trump Hotel in D.C.
As we've previously discussed, the Judicial Code of Conduct does not apply to Supreme Court Justices. And even if it did, it is unclear that the appearance at the hotel - - - without a link to a specific pending case before the Court at this time - - - would be encompassed or if the only remedy would be subsequent recusal from that case.
Nevertheless, given the controversy surrounding the nomination of Gorusch, this may not be the best look for a Justice intending to eschew continuing controversy.
[caricature of Justice Neil Gorsuch by Donkey Hotey via]