Todd Ruger

Former Rep. Schock Asks Judge to Throw Out Case
Attorney says prosecutors are playing ‘Monday morning quarterback’

An attorney for disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock sought Thursday to dismiss federal fraud and theft charges stemming from his time in office, saying the indictment “repeatedly trespasses on land the Constitution reserves for Congress.”

Prosecutors say Schock used campaign and government funds for personal expenses — including travel and the lavish redecoration of his Capitol Hill office in the style of the popular television show, “Downton Abbey.” The Republican, first elected in 2008, resigned from his seat representing Illinois’ 18th District in May 2015.

Tense Senate Confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court
Colorado jurist will restore conservative tilt as Scalia replacement

Updated 1:41 p.m. | The Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice on Friday on a mostly party-line vote, 54-45. Democrats Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana joined all Republicans present in voting to confirm. Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia did not vote.

Gorsuch was supported by the fewest number of senators since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote. 

Senate Moves Closer to Supreme Court Showdown on Gorsuch
Graham: ‘If we have to, we will change the rule and it looks like we’re going to have to.’

Updated 6:22 p.m. | Long-held Senate rules that require consensus for Supreme Court nominees appear doomed, after enough Democrats announced they would block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and force Republicans to alter filibuster rules if they want to put President Donald Trump’s pick on the high court.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 along party lines Monday, as expected, to favorably advance Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor, but not before key Democrats said they would oppose the 49-year-old federal appeals court judge from Colorado.

Gorsuch Floor Fight Foreshadows Change in Senate
Process likely to become longer, nastier and more political

Updated 4:35 p.m. | A committee vote Monday on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will kick off a consequential weeklong confirmation showdown — one that is primed to reshape the Senate and fill the high court seat left vacant for more than a year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to advance Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor, with the panel’s 11-member GOP majority expected to deliver enough votes for a positive report.

Gorsuch Avoids Missteps at Supreme Court Hearing
“I have no difficulty ruling for or against any party”

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch spent 11 hours Tuesday abstaining from giving personal opinions on controversial issues and reassuring critics that he isn’t beholden to President Donald Trump, generally avoiding the kind of major slip that could trip up his confirmation.

Gorsuch adopted a solemn tone at times and tried to add dashes of levity at others, as he fielded gentle Republican questions and fended off Democratic queries on abortion rights, campaign finance and his previous decisions on administrative law and workers rights.

Gorsuch: I Would Have ‘No Difficulty’ Ruling Against Trump
Tells Grassley it was a ‘softball’ question

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch called it an easy question Tuesday when asked if he would have any trouble ruling against President Donald Trump, who nominated him to the high court.

“That’s a softball, Mr. Chairman,” Gorsuch responded to Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa. “I have no difficulty ruling for or against any party, other than what the law and the facts in a particular case require.”

Gorsuch: Judges Aren’t ‘Politicians in Robes’
SCOTUS nominee tries to ease concerns about his legal philosophy

Judge Neil Gorsuch used family details to introduce himself to the country Monday on the opening day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and sought to ease Democrats’ concerns about his legal philosophy.

In his opening statement, Gorsuch spoke of starting off married life with his wife, Louise, in a small apartment. The federal appeals court judge shared his favorite memories of his teenage daughters, such as bathing chickens for the county fair. The Colorado native mentioned his father’s lessons that kindness is a great virtue and there are few experiences closer to God than wading in a trout stream.

Sessions Clarifies Russia Testimony to Senate Committee
AG says he answered questions at confirmation hearing honestly

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a succinct answer to the Senate on Monday to the questions swirling about his testimony that he did not communicate with Russians during the campaign: “My answer was correct.”

The former Alabama senator, an adviser to the Trump campaign, testified under oath in January at his confirmation hearing that he “did not have communications with the Russians” when asked a question about Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, and he reiterated that answer in a response to a written question.

Supreme Court Punts on Transgender Bathroom Case
Lower court instructed to consider new guidance from Trump administration

Appropriators Watch Trump’s Next Move on Obamacare Lawsuit

BY TODD RUGER AND KELLIE MEJDRICH, CQ ROLL CALL

The Trump administration faces a key legal deadline Tuesday in the push to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law — and it could prompt Republican lawmakers to appropriate funds for a part of the statute they once sued to stop.

Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch Copies and Pastes
Responses from his appellate judge confirmation process reappear

Judge Neil Gorsuch sailed through the Senate’s judicial confirmation process in 2006, and that already has helped him fill out key paperwork now that lawmakers are scrutinizing his legal career again as a Supreme Court nominee. 

Gorsuch, 49, has turned in a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire with some portions apparently copied and pasted from a similar questionnaire from a decade ago, when the Senate confirmed him on a voice vote to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Appeals Court Refuses to Restore Trump’s Travel Ban
9th Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision

A federal appeals court on Thursday declined to revive President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order that temporarily bans all refugees as well as foreign travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously upheld a lower court’s order that has temporarily stopped the Trump administration from implementing the travel ban.

Trump Signs Executive Actions on Crime
Trump, Sessions cite disputed statistics at new attorney general’s swearing-in

President Donald Trump signed three executive actions Thursday that he said directed the Justice Department and Homeland Security to crack down on crime, even as critics contend his administration has exaggerated the nation’s crime problems.

At the swearing-in ceremony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump spoke of the “menace of rising crime and the threat of deadly terror” and said Sessions would be “a great protector of the people.” Trump campaigned as a “law and order” candidate and routinely spoke about crime rates in America.

Gorsuch Calls Trump’s Judge Comments ‘Disheartening’
Trump referred to a federal judge as a “so-called judge”

By TODD RUGER and JOHN T. BENNETT, CQ Roll Call 

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, in a meeting Wednesday with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, characterized as “disheartening” and “demoralizing” a tweet by President Donald Trump that called a federal judge a “so-called judge.”

Supreme Court Nominee’s Legal Approach Follows Scalia
Analysis of past rulings reveal an ideology similar to late justice’s

Judge Neil Gorsuch included a line in his first remarks as a Supreme Court nominee that signals just how closely his approach to deciding cases aligns with the late Antonin Scalia, the polarizing and reliably conservative justice whose seat Gorsuch would fill.

“A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands,” Gorsuch, 49, said at the White House last Tuesday.

Ep. 39: How Trump and His Supreme Court Pick Could Clash Over Religious Liberties
The Week Ahead

Based on his religious rulings, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch could find himself at odds with the president particularly over the executive order restricting refugees and immigrants, who are mostly Muslim, says CQ Roll Call's Legal Affairs writer Todd Ruger.

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: A Solidly Conservative Career
Neil Gorsuch praised for writing, sense of humor

Judge Neil Gorsuch stands out as exceptionally bright, even among the legal minds that make it onto the nation’s federal courts. Now, he is President Donald Trump’s pick to be a Supreme Court justice.

Gorsuch, 49, was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit based in Denver. He has had a solidly conservative career as a federal judge that features rulings on contraception and separation of powers cases.

Neil Gorsuch Nominated by Trump for U.S. Supreme Court
10th Circuit judge lauded by president for his ‘extraordinary résumé’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced his nomination of U.S. Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, setting up a confirmation showdown with Senate Democrats still upset over how Republicans blocked the last pick. 

In a prime-time event broadcast from the East Room of the White House, Trump touted Gorsuch as among the finest and most brilliant legal minds in the country — and a fulfillment of his campaign promise to find the best judge in the country to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Trump: Supreme Court Pick Comes ‘Next Week’
Ahead of announcement, president meets with Senate leaders Tuesday

Updated 6:35 p.m. | President Donald Trump plans to announce his Supreme Court appointment next week, almost a year after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death launched a political dispute that left his seat vacant. 

“I’ll be making my decision this week and we’ll be announcing next week,” Trump said Tuesday. “We have outstanding candidates and we will pick a truly great Supreme Court justice. But I’ll be announcing it sometime next week.”

Court Nixes Key Spot on Parade Route for Anti-Trump Protest
Group holds permit for demonstration at Navy Memorial

Protesters won’t get to displace bleachers at a key inauguration parade spot on Pennsylvania Avenue so they can stage an anti-Donald Trump demonstration, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. 

Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition, known as ANSWER, had pressed a lawsuit seeking access to Freedom Plaza with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A three-judge panel ruled that the government has the authority to restrict demonstrations in the public space located between 13th and 14th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest.