WASHINGTON — President Trump’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, has received high marks from conservatives and now is being applauded for demonstrating common sense in a 2016 ruling.
Gorsuch was the lone dissenter in a case that dealt with a 13-year-old boy who was arrested at a New Mexico school for making fake burb noises. Although two justices on the 10th Circuit ruled that the school was within its rights to do what it did, Gorsuch dissented and said the arrest never should have been made.
According to the court’s decision, the teacher reported that the student had “generated several fake burps, which made the other students laugh and hampered class proceedings.” She put him in the hallways, but he then “leaned into the classroom entranceway and continued to burp and laugh,” according to the teacher.
The teacher contacted a school police officer, who arrested the boy on interfering with the educational process.
The mother sued, arguing the police officer had used excessive force and had made an unlawful arrest. Gorsuch sided with the mom.
“If a seventh grader starts trading fake burps for laughs in gym class, what’s a teacher to do?” he asked in his dissent.