The Spirit of the Freezing Truck Driver Case Lives On in Justice Neil Gorsuch

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  4 months ago  •  56 comments

By:   Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

The Spirit of the Freezing Truck Driver Case Lives On in Justice Neil Gorsuch
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Won't Wear Mask - Sonia Sotomayor Works Remotely. Jesus, what a schmuck.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Jesus, what a schmuck.

By Charles P. Pierce Jan 18, 2022 PoolGetty Images

Famously, during his contentious confirmation hearings, then-Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was dogged by then-Senator Al Franken about an opinion that Gorsuch had handed down against a truck driver who had been fired after abandoning his busted truck on a frigid night so he wouldn't freeze to death. The court had decided in favor of the trucker. Gorsuch had dissented. From CNN:

"I don't think you'd want to be on the road with him, would you judge?" Franken asked.

"Senator, um," Gorsuch stammered.

"You would or not? It's a really easy: 'Yes' or 'no?'" he pressed.

Gorsuch dissented in the decision: "It might be fair to ask whether TransAm's decision was a wise or kind one," he wrote. "But it's not our job to answer questions like that. Our only task is to decide whether the decision was an illegal one."

Franken called Gorsuch's logic "absurd."

"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 an unsafe vehicle," said the former "Saturday Night Live" star. "Now, I had a career in identifying absurdity, and I know it when I see it and it makes me question your judgment. I would've done exactly what he did, and I think everybody here would've done exactly what he did," Franken said.

Points of law aside, it was impossible to come to any conclusion other than, "Jesus, what a schmuck."

The spirit of the truck-driver case has swirled around the chamber recently. Chief Justice John Roberts has sought to enact COVID protocols, including mask-wearing. There are a number of good and obvious reasons for this, but in particular, it was a concession to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is diabetic and therefore particularly vulnerable to COVID. All the justices have complied. Except one. Let NPR's Nina Totenberg tell you which one.

It was pretty jarring earlier this month when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court took the bench for the first time since the omicron surge over the holidays. All were now wearing masks. All, that is, except Justice Neil Gorsuch. What's more, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was not there at all, choosing instead to participate through a microphone setup in her chambers…

...Now, though, the situation had changed with the omicron surge, and according to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up. They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench. His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices' weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone.

I'm sure there are some arcane restrictions on the Chief Justice's power to demand compliance from the other justices, probably dating back to the day when Roger Taney showed up in a ball gown or something. But there's something to be said for simplicity, too. I mean, Jesus, what a schmuck.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    4 months ago

It was easy to see years ago that Gorsuch was a smug ahole. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 months ago

of course, his mommy was a nixonite...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 months ago

Gorsucks

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.3  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 months ago
It was easy to see years ago that Gorsuch was a smug ahole. 

Too bad it wasn't as easy as seeing how this story is fake--according to at least 3 SCOTUS members.

Curiously, only one person bothered to fact check this story--a Fox reporter who found the truth with JUST a little research.

Just another media hit piece on someone they don't like who is deemed conservative.

SOSDD

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
1.3.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Texan1211 @1.3    4 months ago
Too bad it wasn't as easy as seeing how this story is fake

Actually the only part of the story that can be considered "fake news" is that Chief Justice John Roberts did not request any Justice to wear masks thus it cannot be said that Gorsuch "refused" to wear one even though it is a fact that he was the only one who chose not to and Sotomayor did choose to stay home due to not all of the justices being masked.

"A source at the Supreme Court says there have been no blanket admonition or request from Chief Justice  that the other justices begin wearing masks to arguments," Bream continued. "The source further stated Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch. I’m told, given that fact, there was also no refusal by Justice Gorsuch."

So really like 95% of the story is factual, all the details about the freezing truck driver case are factual, its just that Gorsuch couldn't "refuse" to wear a mask unless he had been asked/ordered to which didn't happen. He didn't wear a mask and Sotomayor is joining remotely, those are all still facts.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.3.2  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.3.1    4 months ago

Spin it!!

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
1.3.3  Nowhere Man  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.3.1    4 months ago
Actually the only part of the story that can be considered "fake news" is that Chief Justice John Roberts did not request any Justice to wear masks thus it cannot be said that Gorsuch "refused" to wear one even though it is a fact that he was the only one who chose not to and Sotomayor did choose to stay home due to not all of the justices being masked.

So as a result of this opinion, your agreeing that Gorsuch and Sotomayor are lying in their joint statement refuting the claims made against them?

 
 
 
Jasper2529
PhD Participates
1.3.4  Jasper2529  replied to  Texan1211 @1.3    4 months ago
Too bad it wasn't as easy as seeing how this story is fake--according to at least 3 SCOTUS members. Curiously, only one person bothered to fact check this story--a Fox reporter who found the truth with JUST a little research.

That would be Shannon Bream. Even Yahoo, NYT, WaPo, and other left-wing outlets finally got around to publishing articles stating that NPR's story was a lie.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     4 months ago

Amazingly stupid.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3  Sean Treacy    4 months ago

Franken called Gorsuch's logic "absurd.

That's Al Franken. Calling it absurd that a judge would apply the law rather  than apply  his personal feelings to solve a case. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4  Buzz of the Orient    4 months ago
"Chief Justice John Roberts has sought to enact COVID protocols, including mask-wearing. There are a number of good and obvious reasons for this, but in particular, it was a concession to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is diabetic and therefore particularly vulnerable to COVID. All the justices have complied. Except one."

If the SCOTUS weren't trying so hard to make America into a banana republic, I would have thought that John Roberts would demand that Gorsuch be isolated from the rest of the Justices, instead of Sotomayor.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    4 months ago
If the SCOTUS weren't trying so hard to make America into a banana republic, I would have thought that John Roberts would demand that Gorsuch be isolated from the rest of the Justices, instead of Sotomayor.

SCOTUS is certainly not trying to make us into a banana republic, that is just silly.

This "story" has been thoroughly and completely debunked as fake news, so take THAT with a grain of salt when considering the merits of this fake story.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
4.1.1  Nowhere Man  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1    4 months ago

Ahhh, David Gora of NPR is doubling down, calling Gorsuch and Sotomayor liars...

Talk about clueless news media.... Geese Louise!!!!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1    4 months ago

Seems that one cannot trust the news media for one reason or another no matter WHAT side of the world one is living on these days, eh?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.2    4 months ago
Seems that one cannot trust the news media for one reason or another no matter WHAT side of the world one is living on these days, eh?

One must be willing to do at least a minimum of personal research before believing everything they read.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4.1.4  Ronin2  replied to  Nowhere Man @4.1.1    4 months ago

Nothing like making shit up to get a story that conforms to one's beliefs.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.3    4 months ago
"One must be willing to do at least a minimum of personal research before believing everything they read."

Although I certainly don't believe everything I read, unfortunately I'm not in as good a situation as you are to do the personal research..

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.5    4 months ago

Then perhaps you should wait for more information before passing judgment based on one story that went wholly uncorroborated.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.6    4 months ago

I posted my first comment when there were already a few comments that did not disagree with the story.  My next comment was a reply to you that acknowledged that such stories are not always true.  That wasn't good enough for you?  So what the fuck do you want?  I have to wait to see what YOU have to say before I make a comment?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.7    4 months ago

Do whatever you wish.

It matters not to me.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5  Ender    4 months ago

What a dick. I am so sick of assholes.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @5    4 months ago
What a dick. I am so sick of assholes.

Are you referring to the author of the fake story?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
6  Sean Treacy    4 months ago

While posting confirmation this was fake news probably counts as  "trolling", I'll take the risk 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @6    4 months ago

sounds more like the SC circling the wagons

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.2.1  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    4 months ago

It's confusing.  I see now on Yahoo - that this is not what it seems.  

He's still a dick.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    4 months ago
 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
6.2.3  Nowhere Man  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    4 months ago

Sounds like NPR doubling down on the big lie...

 
 
 
Snuffy
Senior Guide
6.3  Snuffy  replied to  Sean Treacy @6    4 months ago

Even CNN, that "bastion of integrity"  (yeah, couldn't do that with a straight face) reported on this and said the report was false

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
6.3.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Snuffy @6.3    4 months ago

Credibility

Not

Necessary

But damn they got one right!!!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.3.2  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @6.3.1    4 months ago

Even a blind dog finds a bone every now and then.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
7  Paula Bartholomew    4 months ago

Fuck that idiot.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
7.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @7    4 months ago
Fuck that idiot.

You blame him for being lied about?

Classic. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
8  Texan1211    4 months ago

Another debunked seed.

Anything to criticize a conservative--even when it is a lie, eh?

Harry Reid would be sooo proud!

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
8.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @8    4 months ago
Another debunked seed. Anything to criticize a conservative--even when it is a lie, eh?

This seems to be a trend.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
9  Jack_TX    4 months ago

Breyer is 83 years old.  Thomas is 73.  Alito is 71.  Sotomayor is 67 and diabetic.

The entire court should be working remotely.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
9.1  bbl-1  replied to  Jack_TX @9    4 months ago

Or---Justices should be appointed and confirmed for eight-year terms with full lifetime benefit for their service.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
9.1.1  Jack_TX  replied to  bbl-1 @9.1    4 months ago
Or---Justices should be appointed and confirmed for eight-year terms with full lifetime benefit for their service.

They were designed as lifetime appointments for a reason.  I still believe that's the best design.  

A court full of lifetime appointed judges spans the collective wisdom of decades.  It's supposed to be the branch of government least subject to political whim.  

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
10  Just Jim NC TttH    4 months ago

That's funny. You click the link and this is the title of the actual article.

The Spirit of the Freezing Truck Driver Case Lives On in Justice Neil Gorsuch

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
10.1  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @10    4 months ago

Nothing but a hit piece, severely lacking in facts.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
11  Transyferous Rex    4 months ago

So we are talking about a decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Franken has a problem with Gorsuch's response of...

"It might be fair to ask whether TransAm's decision was a wise or kind one," he wrote. "But it's not our job to answer questions like that. Our only task is to decide whether the decision was an illegal one."

So Franken is sideways, because Gorsuch suggests that his role, as an appellate court judge, is to decide if the law was applied correctly, and the case was conducted fairly, according to the rules of procedure and constitution. Let's see what the US Courts of Appeals think their roles are...

How Appellate Courts are Different from Trial Courts

At a trial in a U.S. District Court, witnesses give testimony and a judge or jury decides who is guilty or not guilty — or who is liable or not liable. The appellate courts do not retry cases or hear new evidence. They do not hear witnesses testify. There is no jury. Appellate courts review the procedures and the decisions in the trial court to make sure that the proceedings were fair and that the proper law was applied correctly.

Points of law aside, it was impossible to come to any conclusion other than, "Jesus, what a schmuck."

Yes, Al, throw the law to the side, we want our appellate courts not only retrying cases, but issuing fact rulings based on emotion, not the law. Is there a huge sarcasm emoji? 

Look, I haven't read the opinions of the case, nor have I seen the briefs. There is way more to that story. What I can't get on board with, is some jackass comedian, turned politician, who throws jabs at an appellate court judge who plainly states what the role of an appellate court judge is. It's not to rehash facts. It's not to be swayed by emotion or impulse. It is to review the process of the lower court, and address the specific issues raised on appeal. Franken, and his kind, don't like that set-up. They want appellate courts to sit as a second, or third, tier trial courts. That's not the function of the appellate courts.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
12  bbl-1    4 months ago

Whatever.  The demeanor and philosophy of Gorsuch always reminded me of an American version of Heinrich Heydrich.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
12.1  1stwarrior  replied to  bbl-1 @12    4 months ago

How? - explain that comment.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
12.1.1  Nowhere Man  replied to  1stwarrior @12.1    4 months ago

Yeah, I would be interested in this explanation as well... (of course it would be nice if he knew who he was speaking of...Reinhard Heydrich)

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
12.1.2  1stwarrior  replied to  Nowhere Man @12.1.1    4 months ago

Crickets 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
12.1.3  bbl-1  replied to  Nowhere Man @12.1.1    4 months ago

You are correct.  I did mean Reinhard Heydrich.  Who was assassinated in the Balkans in 1941.

Gorsuch reminds me of him. 

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
12.1.4  Nowhere Man  replied to  bbl-1 @12.1.3    4 months ago
Gorsuch reminds me of him. 

ok, why was the question...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
12.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @12.1.3    4 months ago
Gorsuch reminds me of him. 

Were you friends with Heydrich?

Are you acquainted with Gorsuch?

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
12.1.6  bbl-1  replied to  Nowhere Man @12.1.4    4 months ago

Gorsuch, like Heydrich were stalwart supporters of their respective political ideologies.

Heydrich was very smart and driven.  Had he not been killed I believe he would have risen in the Nazi ranks to surpass Goring and Himmler.

Nothing in my second sentence would relay anything of that sort to Gorsuch.  Gorsuch is and continues to be, a lap dog in service of corporate wealth.

Photos of Heydrich compare aptly with photos of Gorsuch when he was in his twenties.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
12.1.7  Nowhere Man  replied to  bbl-1 @12.1.6    4 months ago

So, what your saying is he is an ideologue, purely driven by ideology... he doesn't have a single thought of his own... Whatever the ideology says he should believe is what he believes....

Is that essentially it?

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
12.1.8  bbl-1  replied to  Nowhere Man @12.1.7    4 months ago

Yes.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
12.1.9  Nowhere Man  replied to  bbl-1 @12.1.8    4 months ago

Well, I guess we agree, there are Supreme Court justices that are driven by nothing but ideology...Sotomayor comes to mind as a good example...

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
12.1.10  bbl-1  replied to  Nowhere Man @12.1.9    4 months ago

Whatever.  Gorsuch is a Corporate Whore.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
12.1.11  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @12.1.10    4 months ago
Gorsuch is a Corporate Whore.

That is laughable.

Is there some website that produces these whackadoodle statements?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
12.2  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @12    4 months ago
The demeanor and philosophy of Gorsuch always reminded me of an American version of Heinrich Heydrich.

Exactly how familiar are you with Nazis?

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
12.2.1  bbl-1  replied to  Texan1211 @12.2    4 months ago

More than you will ever be.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
12.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @12.2.1    4 months ago
More than you will ever be.

I have no doubt about that.

Personally, I learned what I needed to about Nazis somewhere in my early teens, and have decided to distance myself from them as far as possible.

I have never had a desire to be familiar with Nazis. Never will, either.

 
 

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