U.S. Supreme Court

Are Gorsuch's provocative opinions slowing the court down?

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Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.

The U.S. Supreme Court has released only four signed opinions so far this term, a slow pace that could be partly due to Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s provocative opinions.

In recent years, the Supreme Court has released about 10 opinions by this time, CNN reports. Since Gorsuch joined the court, he has written more dissents and concurring opinions than most of his colleagues, and his writings could be spurring other justices to spend more time on their responses, the article reports.

Tensions on the court have been sparked by Gorsuch’s sometimes “haughty tone” during oral arguments, according to the article. Another rift—between Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.—was caused by Gorsuch’s decision to stay away from a private session with the other justices after he joined the court, according to the article.

Tensions were on display in dueling opinions by Justices Gorsuch and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a January decision about filing deadlines.

Ginsburg’s majority opinion, joined by Roberts and the liberal justices, referred to Gorsuch’s “history lesson” on an “ancient common-law principle” and said Congress probably didn’t have that principle in mind when it drafted the provision in question, Law.com said in its coverage of the decision. Gorsuch, on the other hand, lamented that the court was forgetting about boundaries between federal and state power.

CNN sees the dispute as perhaps “an ominous sign for negotiations on the much tougher, more consequential disputes the court faces, for example, on partisan redistricting, President Donald Trump’s travel ban and retailers who decline to serve gay people based on religious objections.”

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