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Gorsuch, Trump’s High Court Pick, Says U.S. in ‘Civility Crisis’

Gorsuch, Trump’s High Court Pick, Says U.S. in ‘Civility Crisis’(Bloomberg) — The U.S. is facing a “civility crisis,” Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch says in his first book since being appointed by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy that was the focus of an intensely partisan fight.The book, “A Republic, If You Can Keep It,” lays out Gorsuch’s vision of the court’s proper role, arguing that judges should interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning. Conservatives have used that approach to argue for overturning Obamacare, slashing abortion rights and bolstering gun rights.Gorsuch also touches on the atmospherics surrounding his 2017 nomination. The book describes how, the day before the announcement, Gorsuch and his wife caught their flight to Washington with the help of a neighbor who drove them down a bumpy farm track so they wouldn’t be seen by reporters staking out the family house in Colorado.“That drive threw me face first into the topsy-turvy world of modern-day Supreme Court confirmation battles,” Gorsuch writes in the 323-page book, officially released Tuesday. He was confirmed on a 54-45 vote, with only three Democrats voting in favor.The nomination occurred because Senate Republicans held the seat open for more than a year after the February 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to let the Senate consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for the seat.Trump’s RoleThe book makes only passing references to Trump and doesn’t address the president’s own role in the decline of the nation’s civic discourse. But Gorsuch points to surveys indicating that incivility is broadly deterring Americans from engaging in public service.“Without civility, the bonds of friendship in our communities dissolve, tolerance dissipates, and the pressure to impose order and uniformity through public and private coercion mounts,” Gorsuch, 52, writes.Much of the book, co-authored by two of the justice’s former law clerks, is a compilation of Gorsuch’s speeches and court opinions. But it also contains original sections that provide new insights into his judicial philosophy and personality.Gorsuch is a staunch advocate for approaches toward judging that have become conservative staples: originalism in constitutional cases and textualism when interpreting statutes. He says those approaches help ensure judges don’t “allow their policy preferences to determine their legal rulings.”‘Proper Spheres’He says the president and Congress are similarly guilty of overstepping their bounds and violating the separation of powers laid out in the Constitution.“The framers firmly believed that the rule of law depends on keeping all three governmental powers in their proper spheres,” Gorsuch writes.But Gorsuch also advocates for things that don’t fall so easily into an ideological bucket. He laments the increasing cost and complexity of the U.S. legal system.“Our civil justice system is too expensive for most to afford; our criminal code is too long for most to comprehend; and our legal education system is too monolithic to allow lawyers to serve clients as affordably and well as we might,” he writes.The book’s title recalls Benjamin Franklin’s reported reply as he left the Constitutional Convention in 1787 when he was asked what sort of government the nation’s founders were creating.To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Trump Supreme Court pick Kavanaugh delivered the goods for conservatives

Trump Supreme Court pick Kavanaugh delivered the goods for conservativesPresident Donald Trump’s appointee Brett Kavanaugh consistently delivered during his first term as a justice for conservatives who had hoped he would move the U.S. Supreme Court further to the right while still managing to keep a low profile following his acrimonious Senate confirmation process. As the top U.S. judicial body wrapped up nine months of work on Thursday, Kavanaugh’s record showed he was in lockstep with the court’s four other conservative members. At least based on his first term, Kavanaugh showed himself to be more reliably conservative than the justice who Trump appointed him to replace, Anthony Kennedy, who sometimes sided with the court’s liberal bloc on issues including abortion and gay rights.



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Amazon adds new option: Buy on Amazon, pick up at Rite Aid

Amazon adds new option: Buy on Amazon, pick up at Rite AidAmazon is adding a new way to get your packages: head over to another store’s sales counter to pick it up. Starting Thursday, Amazon shoppers will be able to fetch their orders at more than 100 Rite Aid stores across the United States. It will expand to 1,500 Rite Aid locations by year-end.



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Trump's pick for defense secretary withdraws as past domestic incidents surface

Trump's pick for defense secretary withdraws as past domestic incidents surfacePresident Trump announced that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration to be his permanent defense chief as reports surfaced about a messy divorce that involved a violent incident.



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Criticism mounts of Trump pick for U.S. Federal Reserve

Criticism mounts of Trump pick for U.S. Federal ReserveEconomists and other critics have expressed concerns about Moore, a conservative economic commentator, and another Trump loyalist nomination to the Fed’s Board of Governors, serving on the traditionally nonpartisan central bank. Warren, a Democrat who is running to challenge Trump in the 2020 election, said Moore had “a long history of making wildly inaccurate claims about economic policy that appear to serve political ends.” “Americans should be able to trust that policymakers … have some command over basic mathematical and economic concepts and allegiance to facts,” she wrote in a letter to Moore. Moore, and fellow Trump nominee Herman Cain, a former restaurant chain executive, are battling for the two vacant seats on the Fed’s Board of Governors, positions that would give them a say for years on interest-rate policy and bank regulation.



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Cain's Fed chances in peril as fourth Republican opposes Trump pick

Cain's Fed chances in peril as fourth Republican opposes Trump pick“If I had to vote today, I would vote no,” Senator Kevin Cramer said in a statement. If all of the Senate’s Democrats and the two independents aligned with them were to vote against Cain, he would fall short of the majority support he needs. Cain could not be reached for comment.



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Swift Pushback on Stephen Moore, Trump's Latest Pick for the Fed

Swift Pushback on Stephen Moore, Trump's Latest Pick for the Fed“He does not have the intellectual gravitas for this important job,” Greg Mankiw, a Harvard professor who was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, wrote in a blog post on Friday. “It is time for senators to do their job.



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Trump's likely pick for Pentagon job makes 'trains run on time.' Can he do much more?

Trump's likely pick for Pentagon job makes 'trains run on time.' Can he do much more?Some observers credit Shanahan’s business experience as an asset in the Pentagon.



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New Justice pick opens key job for post-Mueller probes

New Justice pick opens key job for post-Mueller probesWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nomination of Jessie Liu for the third-highest spot in the Justice Department creates a vacancy that could allow Trump to name the person who will oversee the most politically charged cases in Washington, including those stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.



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Who is Jeffrey Rosen? Three things to know about President Trump's deputy attorney general pick

Who is Jeffrey Rosen? Three things to know about President Trump's deputy attorney general pickWhile he has worked for a previous administration and in private practice, Rosen does not have any experience at DOJ or as a prosecutor.



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