Group Criticizes Planned Gorsuch Speech at Trump Venue

A court ethics organization is concerned that Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, is planning to speak at Trump International Hotel.

Fix the Court, which among other things advocates for tougher ethics guidelines for Supreme Court justices, has sent the High Court a petition with almost 1,500 signatures questioning the wisdom of a Justice speaking at the Trump property “even as a lawsuit claiming President Trump is illegally profiting off his presidency makes its way through federal court, with the Supreme Court a likely final destination," said Gabe Roth, Fix the Court's executive director.

Roth said it certainly appears unethical and wants Chief Justice John Roberts to "clarify" the ethics requirements for public speeches, adding that Roberts has an obligation to discourage participation in such events.

Related: Fix the Court Sees Hope in Gorsuch's Cameras Comment

Roth also is concerned that Gorsuch is speaking to a conservative group.

"Justices should not only seek out less controversial venues, they should also try to address ideologically diverse groups, as the impact of seeing the country’s leading jurists appear before contrarian audiences would go far beyond whatever words they’d share," he said.

Justices have no bright-line restrictions on public speeches, and can recuse themselves, or not, from cases for any or no reason, without explanation.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.