Donald Trump introduces Neil Gorsuch.
Credit: White House/Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the most junior justice on the Supreme Court gave a speech at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., for an organization with the same benefactor as the group bringing a case that may end up knee-capping public-sector unions.

From the LA Times:

The justices will hear the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to the union, which represents 35,000 state workers.

The decision, due by next June, could prove a costly setback for public-sector unions in 22 states, including California, where such fees are authorized by law. Labor experts have predicted a significant percentage of employees would stop supporting their union if given a choice. The other 28 states have “right to work” laws that forbid requiring workers to join or support a union.

The conservative group Fund for American Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary at the president’s new hotel, and invited Gorsuch to speak. It gets funding from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which funds partially the National Right to Work Foundation.

Attorneys for the National Right to Work Foundation will argue, for the second time, a case before the Supreme Court that mandatory fees used to fight for the rights of all workers are unconstitutional.

The first time resulted in a deadlocked court due to Antonin Scalia’s sudden death. This second attempt is likely to be successful, because Gorsuch is widely expected to agree with the plaintiff.

Others have noted that Gorsuch, in agreeing to speak at the Trump International Hotel, appeared to approve tacitly of the president’s blatant disregard for ethical and legal boundaries. The president, in being the owner of the hotel, is literally the renter and rentee. At the moment, I can’t think of a better definition of corruption.

Less attention is paid to Gorsuch’s apparent corruption. His speech follows another in Kentucky last week before which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in the words of the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s headline writer, “shows off prized accomplishment.”

It’s enough to wonder if Gorsuch too has little serious regard for appearing to comport himself to certain boundaries. The Supreme Court is supposed to hold itself above the partisan fray as an independent check on the powers of Congress and the president.

Yet Gorsuch, by appearing in public with McConnell and with associates of plaintiffs in an upcoming case, seems untroubled by his troubling breach of protocol. Indeed, he seems comfortable signaling to his friend and allies that they need not worry, not worry at all.

He’ll deliver.

John Stoehr

Follow John on Twitter @johnastoehr . John Stoehr is a Washington Monthly contributing writer. This piece originally appeared in The Editorial Board.