Justice Gorsuch Asks at First Oral Argument, Why Not Follow "Plain Text of the Statute"?

Yesterday, Neil Gorsuch participated in his first oral argument as a Supreme Court justice.  He was an active questioner, emphasizing the text of the laws at issue:

Gorsuch, who was confirmed earlier this month after President Trump nominated him to the court, entered the courtroom grinning as he stepped up to his chair . . . . He wasted little time before jumping in with questions in the first case Monday, which centered on a technical question over which court has jurisdiction to hear appeals of discrimination claims filed by federal employees. . . . 

Gorsuch focused his first line of questioning on the wording of the statute, asking the employee’s attorney, Christopher Landau, several questions about where in the law it says district courts have jurisdiction to hear civil service claims. 

“Wouldn't it be a lot easier if we just followed the plain text of the statute?” asked Gorsuch . . . . He then apologized to the lawyers and his fellow justices for taking up so much time, a theme he’d return to repeatedly.  

Consistent with the down-to-earth, approachable demeanor America witnessed throughout his confirmation hearings, he was already friendly with his bench-mate, Justice Sonia Sotomayor: 

Gorsuch appeared chummy with Sotomayor throughout the day's arguments, sharing a laugh at the start and end of the first case. 

In the second case, which centered on whether someone intervening in a lawsuit must have standing, the two exchanged several glances and grins.

Compare this picture of how the Supreme Court actually functions, the types of cases that form the majority of its docket, and the collegiality of Justice Gorsuch to the Democrats' outrageous accusations for the past few months.  And remember this should another Supreme Court vacancy occur during Donald Trump's presidency - the reality is nothing like the extreme rhetoric from the Democrats.