East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 11, 2017, Page Page 7A, Image 7

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 7A
Gorsuch sworn into Supreme Court
Restores narrow
conservative majority
Neil Gorsuch took his place in history
Monday as the newest addition on the
bench of the Supreme Court, restoring
a narrow conservative majority and
marking a much-needed political
victory for President Donald Trump.
Gorsuch was sworn in during a
sun-soaked ceremony in the Rose
Garden, nearly 14 months after the seat
was left vacant with the sudden death
of Justice Antonin Scalia. The oath
was administered during the White
House ceremony by Justice Anthony
Kennedy, whom Gorsuch once served
as a law clerk. A smiling Trump stood
behind his nominee.
It was the second of two oaths —
the first was conducted privately in the
Justices’ Conference Room by Chief
Justice John Roberts.
“To the Scalia family, I won’t ever
forget that the seat I inherit today
is that of a very, very great man,”
Gorsuch said to the audience of family
and administration staffers, as well as
all the sitting Supreme Court justices.
“I will do all my powers permit to
be a faithful servant of the Constitution
and laws of this great nation,” he said.
Gorsuch joins the court that is often
the final arbiter for presidential policy.
Speaking ahead of Gorsuch at
the ceremony, Trump said that “our
country is counting on you to be wise,
impartial and fair, to serve under our
laws, not over them, and to safeguard
the right of the people to govern their
own affairs,” hinting at his own fric-
tion with the judiciary.
Gorsuch’s confirmation was a badly
needed boost for an administration
riddled with controversy and misstep.
Trump failed to get enough Republi-
cans on board to support his plan to
repeal and replace President Barack
Obama’s signature health care bill. His
efforts to build a physical border wall
with Mexico remain uncertain and his
attempts to ban certain travelers from
entering the U.S. because they pose a
security threat have been blocked by
the courts.
Trump was lighthearted about his
win, saying that Gorsuch’s nomination
Audra D. Bridges via AP
This April 9 image made from a video provided by
Audra D. Bridges shows a passenger being removed
from a United Airlines flight in Chicago.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
President Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court Justice Anthony
Kennedy administers the judicial oath to Judge Neil Gorsuch during a
re-enactment in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington,
Monday. Holding the bible is Gorsuch’s wife Marie Louise Gorsuch.
came during his first 100 days and
added: “You think that’s easy?”
Trump said Americans would see in
Gorsuch “a man who is deeply faithful
to the Constitution of the United
States” and predicted greatness for
the 49-year-old former appeals court
judge from Colorado.
Gorsuch said he was humbled by
his ascendance to the nation’s high
court and thanked his former law
clerks, saying of his former law clerks,
“your names are etched in my heart
Scalia had anchored the court’s
conservative wing for nearly three
decades before he died unexpectedly
in February 2016. In nominating
Gorsuch, Trump said he fulfilled a
campaign pledge to pick someone in
the mold of Scalia.
Gorsuch is the youngest nominee
since Clarence Thomas, who was 43
when confirmed in 1991.
His 66-day confirmation process
was swift, but bitterly divisive. It
saw Senate Republicans trigger
the “nuclear option” to eliminate
the 60-vote filibuster threshold for
Gorsuch and all future high court
nominees. The change allowed the
Senate to hold a final vote to approve
Gorsuch with a simple majority.
Most Democrats refused to support
Gorsuch because they were still
seething over the Republican blockade
last year of President Barack Obama’s
pick for the same seat, Merrick
Garland. Senate Republicans refused
to even hold a hearing for Garland,
saying a high court replacement should
be up to the next president.
For now, Gorsuch restores the
court’s conservative tilt. But the new
Senate rules allowing for confirmation
of a justice by a simple majority will
be crucial if Trump gets to fill another
opening and replace either Kennedy
— often a swing vote — or one of the
court’s liberal justices.
Kennedy and Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsberg are both in their 80s and
Justice Stephen Breyer is 78, raising
concern among Democrats that Trump
may have another opportunity to move
the court in a more definitive conser-
vative direction.
Gorsuch mirrored Scalia’s origi-
nalist approach to the law during his
11 years on the federal appeals court in
Denver, interpreting the Constitution
according to the meaning understood
by those who drafted it. Like Scalia,
Gorsuch is a gifted writer with a flair
for turning legal jargon into plain
language people can understand.
Wells claws back $75 million from top execs in sales scandal
Associated Press
problems at Wells Fargo
and its overly aggressive
sales culture date back at
least 15 years, and manage-
ment had little interest in
dealing with the issue until
it spiraled out of control
resulting in millions of
accounts being opened
to an investigation by the
company’s board of direc-
The bank’s board also
clawed back another $75
million in pay from two
former executives, CEO
John Stumpf and commu-
nity bank executive Carrie
executives dragged their
feet for years regarding
problems at the second-
largest U.S. bank. Both
were ultimately unwilling
to accept criticism that
the bank’s sales-focused
business model was failing.
The 110-page report has
been in the works since
September, when Wells
acknowledged that its
employees opened up to 2
million checking and credit
card accounts without
customers’ authorization.
Trying to meet unnaturally
high sales goals, Wells
employees even created
phony email addresses
to sign customers up for
online banking services.
“(Wells’ management)
employees to sell unwanted
or unneeded products to
customers and, in some
cases, to open unauthorized
accounts,” the board said in
its report.
Many current and former
employees have talked
of intense and constant
pressure from managers to
sell and open accounts, and
some said it pushed them
into unethical behavior.
Monday’s report backs up
those employees’ stories.
The report also says
that problems in the bank’s
sales culture date back to at
least 2002, far earlier than
what the bank had previ-
ously said.
And that Stumpf knew
about sales problems at a
branch in Colorado since at
least that year.
The bank has already
paid $185 million in fines to
federal and local authorities
and settled a $110 million
class-action lawsuit. The
scandal also resulted in
the abrupt retirement last
October of Stumpf.
Video of passenger
getting dragged off
flight sparks uproar
Video of police officers
dragging a passenger from an
overbooked United Airlines
flight sparked an uproar
Monday on social media,
but United’s CEO defended
his employees, saying they
followed proper procedures
and had no choice but to call
authorities and remove the
As the flight waited
to depart from Chicago’s
O’Hare Airport, officers
could be seen grabbing
the screaming man from a
window seat, pulling him
across the armrest and
dragging him down the aisle
by his arms. United was
trying to make room for four
employees of a partner airline
on the Sunday evening flight
to Louisville, Kentucky.
Other passengers on
Express Flight 3411 are heard
saying, “Please, my God,”
‘’What are you doing?”
‘’This is wrong,” ‘’Look at
what you did to him” and
“Busted his lip.”
Passenger Audra D.
Bridges posted the video
on Facebook. Her husband,
Tyler Bridges, said United
offered $400 and then $800
vouchers and a hotel stay for
volunteers to give up their
seats. When no one volun-
teered, a United manager
came on the plane and
announced that passengers
would be chosen at random.
“We almost felt like we
were being taken hostage,”
Tyler Bridges said. “We were
stuck there. You can’t do
anything as a traveler. You’re
relying on the airline.”
Oscar Munoz, CEO
of United Airlines’ parent
company, apologized first
in a written statement and
then in a letter to employees
Monday evening.
Munoz said he was “upset
to see and hear about what
happened” at O’Hare. He
added, however, that the
man dragged off the plane
had ignored requests by crew
members to leave and became
“disruptive and belligerent,”
making it necessary to call
airport police.
“Our employees followed
established procedures for
dealing with situations like
this,” Munoz told employees.
“While I deeply regret
this situation arose, I also
emphatically stand behind
all of you, and I want to
commend you for continuing
to go above and beyond to
ensure we fly right.”
Munoz said that the airline
might learn from the experi-
ence, and it was continuing to
look into the incident.
The flight was operated
for United by Republic
Airline, which United hires
to fly United Express flights.
Munoz said four Republic
United’s gate agents after the
plane was fully loaded and
said they needed to board.
He said the airline asked
for volunteers to give up
their seats, and then moved
to involuntary bumping,
offering up to $1,000 in
refused to leave told the
manager that he was a doctor
who needed to see patients in
the morning, Tyler Bridges
The AP was unable to
confirm the passenger’s
Two officers tried to
reason with the man before
a third came aboard and
pointed at the man “basically
saying, ‘Sir, you have to get
off the plane,’” Bridges said.
That’s when the altercation
One officer involved has
been placed on leave, the
Chicago Aviation Depart-
ment said.
After a three-hour delay
the flight took off without the
man aboard, Bridges said. A
United employee apologized.
9 life sentences in
case on Charleston
church slayings
S.C. (AP) — Convicted
Charleston church shooter
Dylann Roof was given nine
consecutive life sentences
in prison after he pleaded
guilty to state murder
charges Monday, leaving
him to await execution in a
federal prison and sparing
his victims and their families
the burden of a second trial.
Judge J.C. Nicholson
imposed the sentences
following a hearing in which
church members and Roof’s
grandfather testified about
the personal toll of the case.
The self-avowed white
supremacist entered his
guilty pleas while standing
at the defense table with his
attorneys, clad in a gray and
white striped jail jumpsuit
and handcuffed to a chain at
his waist.
Roof’s plea deal with
state prosecutors, who also
had been pursuing the death
penalty, came in exchange
for a life prison sentence on
the state charges.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson
called the plea deal “an
insurance policy for the
federal conviction.” With
a new administration in
Washington, Wilson said
she’s more confident that a
federal death sentence will
be carried out.
Wilson also praised the
Charleston community for
rising above the tragedy and
called Roof’s plan to start a
race war “an epic failure.”
Before sentencing Roof,
Nicholson heard members of
historically black Emanuel
AME Church describe the
toll the June 2015 shooting
took on them and their
Governor resigns,
pleads guilty to
Ala. (AP) — Gov.
Robert Bentley resigned
Monday rather than face
impeachment and pleaded
guilty to two misdemeanor
campaign violations
that arose during the
investigation of alleged
affair with a top aide.
The mild-mannered
74-year-old Republican and
one-time Baptist deacon was
at peace with the decision
to step down, according
to a former administration
member who was not
authorized to release the
The sex-tinged scandal
gathered force over the past
few days and turned up on
the pressure by opening
impeachment hearings
Monday. Last week, the
Alabama Ethics Commission
cited evidence that Bentley
broke state ethics and
campaign laws and referred
the matter to prosecutors.
In a court hearing,
Bentley appeared sullen
and looked down at the
floor as he pleaded guilty
to misdemeanor charges
of failing to file a major
contribution report and
converting campaign
contributions to personal to
SATURDAY , MAY 6 , 2017
5K Run, 5K Walk, 10K Run, Kid's Butte Scoot
All races begin & end at Hermiston's Butte Park
Online registration & race information at
Register online by April 22nd to order a
custom technical race T-Shirt
All proceeds benefi t THE HERMISTON