U.S. Supreme Court

Gorsuch asks his first questions in Supreme Court oral arguments

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Gorsuch is sworn in

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the constitutional oath to Judge Neil Gorsuch as Louise Gorsuch holds the Bible. Photo by Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s newest justice took the bench on Monday and began asking questions less than 15 minutes after oral arguments began.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch asked four questions in a row in a case involving a procedural issue in a federal worker’s claim of employment bias, the Associated Press reports.

Gorsuch then said he was “sorry for taking up so much time,” according to the AP account.

Throughout the one-hour argument, Gorsuch stepped in three times, posing a series of questions each time, Reuters reports. His questions focused on the text of the federal statute at issue.

Reuters deemed Gorsuch “a frequent and energetic questioner” and said he “exhibited composure and confidence” during the arguments.

The case is “hardly a blockbuster,” according to Bloomberg Big Law Business. Gorsuch will participate in two other arguments on Monday. One case involves the standing requirements when a plaintiff intervenes as a matter of right under federal rules, according to this SCOTUSblog summary. The other involves deadlines in securities class actions, SCOTUSblog reports here.

Gorsuch did not participate in a private conference last week in which justices discussed potential cases. Instead, he focused on preparing for arguments, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told Bloomberg.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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