Supreme Court's newest justice has an elk as an office mate

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 4:06 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 4:04 AM


            This undated photo provided by Christopher Scalia, shows an elk shot by Justice Antonin Scalia, that has remained in the new Justice Neil Gorsuch's chambers in the Supreme Court in Washington. When Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch got appointed to the Supreme Court bench earlier this year, he got lifetime tenure, a salary north of $250,000 and an elk named Leroy. (Christopher J. Scalia by AP)
This undated photo provided by Christopher Scalia, shows an elk shot by Justice Antonin Scalia, that has remained in the new Justice Neil Gorsuch's chambers in the Supreme Court in Washington. When Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch got appointed to the Supreme Court bench earlier this year, he got lifetime tenure, a salary north of $250,000 and an elk named Leroy. (Christopher J. Scalia by AP)

When Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court earlier this year he got Justice Antonin Scalia's seat, his office and his elk, Leroy.

In recent appearances, Gorsuch has been telling the story of how the elk — actually just its mounted head — came to be his office mate.

The story starts more than a decade ago when Scalia shot the elk on a hunting trip and had its head mounted and hung in his Supreme Court office.

Gorsuch explained at an event in Washington last week that after Scalia died in 2016 it seemed that the elk was destined "to become homeless." That's because the elk head, part of an animal estimated to have weighed around 900 pounds, is "much too much for anyone's living room wall," Gorsuch said.

"And then someone got the idea that Leroy might make, well, a sort of unusual welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift for the new guy. What a gift," Gorsuch said.

Christopher Scalia, one of the late justice's nine children and the co-editor of a collection of his father's speeches published this week, said in a telephone interview that his father shot the Rocky Mountain elk on a hunting trip in Colorado in 2003. Though the justice had other hunting trophies displayed in his home including white tail deer, an antelope or two and a boar's head, the elk was "way too big for our house," Christopher Scalia said. So Leroy took up residence at the Supreme Court facing the justice's desk.

"He was proud of it and he enjoyed showing it off," Christopher Scalia said.

Glen Summers, a former law clerk of Scalia's who was with him when he shot Leroy, said Scalia made a "magnificent, long-range" shot of some 460 yards. It was the only elk Scalia ever killed, he said. As for why the justice called him Leroy, that's a mystery, Summers said.

After Scalia died, Leroy was crated up and sent to Summers in Colorado, he said. And when Gorsuch was nominated to the court, Summers asked what others were also thinking, he said: Would Gorsuch, a fellow conservative and outdoorsman, take Leroy back to Washington? Gorsuch "graciously accepted," Summers said. So back across the country Leroy went. He was presented to Gorsuch at a reunion of Scalia clerks earlier this year.

Gorsuch joked last week that he is actually "delighted to share space with Leroy" and that they "share a few things in common."

"Turns out, we're both native Coloradans. We both received a rather shocking summons to Washington," he said. "Neither of us is ever going to forget Justice Scalia."

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Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

Report: CDC given list of 'forbidden' words for budget

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

WATCH: CDC Given List of ‘Forbidden’ Words

The Trump administration has issued a list of seven words and phrases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are "forbidden" from using in documents related to next year's budget, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The list of banned words includes: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based, according to The Washington Post report. In certain cases, alternative phrasing was offered. CDC employees were encouraged to use the phrase, “the CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," in place of “science-based” or “evidence-based” according to a source cited in The Washington Post report.

 >> Read more trending news 

It is not clear why the Trump administration issued such a directive, but The Washington Post notes that other federal agencies, like Health and Human Services, have altered language addressing sexual orientation in its documentation since Trump took office.

The directive was met with an "incredulous" reaction when it was announced at a meeting Thursday with CDC employees, The Washington Post reported.

The White House has not released a response to The Washington Post report.

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Blake Farenthold won't seek re-election amid harassment claims

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 10:46 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:37 AM

In this Jan. 3, 2017, file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Ethics Committee said Dec. 7 it is expanding its investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Farenthold. The committee said it will investigate whether Farenthold sexually harassed a former member of his staff and retaliated against her for complaining. The committee also said the panel would review allegations that Farenthold made inappropriate statements to other members of his official staff. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
Jose Luis Magana/AP
In this Jan. 3, 2017, file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Ethics Committee said Dec. 7 it is expanding its investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Farenthold. The committee said it will investigate whether Farenthold sexually harassed a former member of his staff and retaliated against her for complaining. The committee also said the panel would review allegations that Farenthold made inappropriate statements to other members of his official staff. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)(Jose Luis Magana/AP)

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold announced he won’t seek re-election, less than a week after a House committee opened an investigation into sexual harassment claims from a former aide.

>> Read more trending news

Prominent Men Accused Of Sexual Misconduct In 2017

State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 4:13 PM

Understanding Net Neutrality

The attorneys general of nearly 20 states asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote on changing the country’s net neutrality rules as they investigate reports that impersonators posted hundreds of thousands of fake comments on the commission’s notice of the proposed change.

>> Read more trending news

“If the well of public comment has been poisoned by falsified submissions, the Commission may be unable to rely on public comments that would help it reach a legitimate conclusion to the rulemaking process,” the attorneys general of 18 states said in a letter sent Wednesday to the FCC. “Or, it must give less weight to the public comments submitted which also undermines the process.”

The FCC plans to vote Thursday on gutting the Obama-era rules, meant to stop broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

“This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale – and theft of someone’s voice in a democracy is particularly concerning,” said the letter, led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and signed by the attorneys general of 17 other states: California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

>> Read the full letter sent to the FCC on Wednesday

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused the FCC last month of stonewalling his office’s investigation into thousands of suspicious comments made the to the commission’s net neutrality rule change notice. Since then, Schneiderman said his office has gotten more than 5,000 complaints from people whose identities were used to submit fake comments to the FCC’s notice.

In its letter to the FCC, the 18 other state attorneys general said they have received similar complaints.

>> Related: New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC

“I’m sick to my stomach knowing that somebody stole my identity and used it to push a viewpoint that I do not hold,” an Ohio resident wrote in one of the complaints. “This solidifies my stance that in no way can the FCC use the public comments as a means to justify the vote they will hold here shortly.”

A South Carolina resident said one of the false comments was posted using his or her mother’s information, even though she died in 2009.

“This is terrifying,” a Missouri resident wrote in another complaint. “Who knows what else has been said falsely under my name?”

As many as 2 million comments posted to the notice are believed to have been made using stolen identities, Schneiderman said Wednesday.

“The FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation,” Schneiderman said. “As we’ve told the FCC: moving forward with this vote would make a mockery of our public comment process and reward those who perpetrated this fraud to advance their own hidden agenda. The FCC must postpone this vote and work with us to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Net-neutrality rules bar cable and phone companies from favoring certain websites and apps — such as their own services — and give the FCC more oversight over privacy and the activities of telecom companies. Supporters worry that repealing them would hurt startups and other companies that couldn't afford to pay a broadband company for faster access to customers.

Critics of the rules say that they hurt investment in internet infrastructure and represent too much government involvement in business. Phone and cable companies say the rules aren't necessary because they already support an open internet, and have lobbied hard for their repeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘physically dragged’ from White House, reports say

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:57 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:08 PM

Who is Omarosa Manigault Newman

Omarosa Manigaul Newman, the “Apprentice” star turned White House aide, was removed from the White House Tuesday night,“physically dragged and escorted off the campus,” according to several news reports.

Manigault-Newman announced her resignation on Wednesday, effective next month.

>> Read more trending news

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