Supreme Court justice Gorsuch welcomes new citizens

SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. Supreme Court justice who was in favor of completely reinstating President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries welcomed new U.S. citizens on Monday, encouraging them to tolerate different points of view and respect people with whom they disagree.

“Democracy depends on our willingness to hear and respect even those we disagree with strongly,” U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch told the citizens following a naturalization ceremony at the 9th Circuit’s judicial conference. “In a government by and for the people, we have to remember those with whom we disagree, even vehemently, still have the best interests of the country at heart.”

Gorsuch’s visit comes as the Trump administration asks the high court to again weigh in on its ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries. Gorsuch was among three justices who said in June that the ban should be completely reinstated pending arguments before the high court, and the justice could not escape discussion of the ban during his visit to the 9th Circuit conference.

With Gorsuch seated next to her, an Alaska high school student earlier in the day read her winning essay on Japanese internment — a topic selected by the 9th Circuit.

Olivia Tafs, 15, compared the treatment of Muslims after the Sept. 11 attacks to that of Japanese-Americans during World War II. She cited Trump’s travel ban as an example of what she said was ethnic profiling.

Gorsuch shook her hand following the speech.

Gorsuch was a late fill-in at the 9th Circuit conference for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who canceled his trip…

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