By JESSICA GRESKO
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch discussed the importance of civility and civics education in a speech Thursday at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, an address criticized by liberal groups who said his decision to speak there raised questions about his independence from the president who nominated him.
Gorsuch’s speech, one of his first since joining the court in April, came just a few days before the Supreme Court’s begins its new term Monday. Liberal groups including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America briefly protested outside and wrote in a letter that Gorsuch’s appearance at President Donald Trump’s hotel undermines the court’s “public legitimacy as an entity above partisan politics.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., aso criticized Gorsuch’s appearance in a statement, saying, “There’s a reason we questioned his independence during his confirmation hearings.”
Gorsuch didn’t address the criticism during a 20-minute speech, focusing instead on civics and civility.
“We have to learn not only to tolerate different points of view but to cherish the din of democracy. It’s a hard lesson and no one’s perfect. We all make mistakes. But encouraging habits of civility in our next generation has to go hand in hand with the teaching of civics,” Gorsuch said.
The event was for The Fund for American Studies, an organization that offers programs for…