June 3, 2017 / 4:35 AM / 3 months ago

U.S. top court's Gorsuch says does not share 'cynicism' about government

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch participates in taking a new family photo with his fellow justices at the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 1, 2017.Jonathan Ernst

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court appointee Neil Gorsuch said on Friday that he does not share what he acknowledged was currently "a lot of cynicism about government and the rule of law."

Gorsuch, the newest member to the nation's top court, spoke about the value of an independent judiciary during an evening event at Harvard University that also featured fellow Justice Stephen Breyer.

Gorsuch reflected on how the "government can lose in its own courts and accept the judgement of those courts without an army to back it up."

He said 95 percent of all U.S. cases are resolved at the trial court level, with few reaching the appellate level or Supreme Court, a fact that he said indicated that litigants were satisfied that justice had been done.

"I know a lot of cynicism about government and the rule of law, but I don't share it," he said.

Gorsuch, whose confirmation to the lifetime job restored the court's conservative majority following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016, formally joined the Supreme Court on April 10.

Gorsuch served on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before Trump nominated him in January. Trump was able to fill the vacancy after Senate Republicans last year refused to consider President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland.

Breyer, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and is a member of the liberal wing of the nine-member court, stressed during his comments the value of international values.

"The values you are talking about are very widespread across the world," he said. "Interest in democracy, human rights and so forth and rule of law."

Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Kim Coghill

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