Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline participate in the #IndigenousRising round dance in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Law | Politics

Supreme Court justice speaks at Trump hotel before hearing Trump travel ban

The newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court will be headlining a "Defending Freedom Luncheon" at a Donald Trump-branded hotel next month, just days before he hears a key dispute involving the president.

Justice Neil Gorsuch will speak at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on September 28, The Fund for American Studies said. On October 10, he will participate in oral arguments in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii, two cases which deal with travel restrictions imposed on citizens of certain nations by President Donald Trump.

“At this highly divisive political moment, especially as many Trump decisions are likely soon to reach the court’s docket, one just days later, a healthy respect for public confidence in the court should have led Justice Gorsuch to demur,” Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics at New York University, told The New York Times. Liberal groups also criticized the justice, who was nominated by the president, for agreeing to appear at the event.

Trump has been unusually invested in defending his travel restrictions amid legal challenges. He has repeatedly posted about the dispute on Twitter, including one in which he wrote "SEE YOU IN COURT" in February, when the case was already in court.

Trump opened his namesake hotel during the 2016 presidential campaign but is currently not involved in the daily operations. However, he has made at least one appearance there since January and his Cabinet officials and members of his administration are frequently seen dining, socializing and meeting there, The Washington Post reported.

Trump announced Gorsuch for the Supreme Court on January. Tribes strongly supported the nomination based on the judge's experience with Indian law on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gorsuch joined the court in April after winning confirmation in the Senate. His first Indian law case will be Patchak v. Zinke, which is due to be argued in the fall.

Read More on the Story:
Neil Gorsuch Speech at Trump Hotel Raises Ethical Questions (The New York Times August 17, 2017)
Justice Gorsuch to speak at Trump hotel next month (The Hill August 17, 2017)
Gorsuch to headline event at Trump Hotel (Politico August 17, 2017)
Gorsuch's planned speech at Trump hotel criticized by liberal groups (CNN August 18, 2017)