Unacceptable: Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court
Appointment threatens women’s access to health care and reproductive rights.
President Donald Trump has nominated federal judge Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. This seat was vacated when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in Feb. 2016. President Obama nominated federal judge Merrick Garland, but Senate Republicans refused even to consider Garland’s nomination. Like Garland’s, Gorsuch’s nomination requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. The process will begin with hearings conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will continue with a committee vote and then a full-Senate vote sometime in the coming months.
What does the Supreme Court do?
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and has final authority regarding legal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Its most important power is that of judicial review–i.e., the power to invalidate policies enacted by Congress, the President, or the states if they violate the Constitution. Its justices are appointed for life and regularly serve 25 years or more.
Why is Gorsuch unacceptable?
- Judge Gorsuch is well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, with a distinguished record of academic achievement and professional service, but the same was true of Judge Garland. Senate Democrats should treat Gorsuch’s nomination just as Senate Republicans treated Garland’s.
- At 49, Gorsuch is the youngest nominee since Clarence Thomas in 1991 and would be expected to serve until roughly 2047.
- Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism–i.e., the belief that the Constitution should be interpreted in accord with its original 1787 meaning. A recent study by political scientists indicated that of all the nominees on Trump’s list, Gorsuch’s voting patterns were most closely aligned with Scalia’s. And in a 2016 speech, Gorsuch himself said that he had tried to follow in Scalia’s footsteps.
- During his time on the federal appeals court in Denver, Judge Gorsuch has supported Hobby Lobby and other Christian employers seeking to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees, as required by the Affordable Care Act; sided with Utah’s governor in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood; insisted that local governments can display the Ten Commandments on public property while declining to display religious monuments donated by other faith communities; and repeatedly sided with for-profit corporations against workers, consumers, and the environment.
- Gorsuch has not taken a public position on Roe v. Wade, but in a book on assisted suicide and euthanasia, he wrote that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
What can I do?
- Stop Gorsuch Now. Call your US Senators and urge them to speak out forcefully in opposition to his confirmation.
- Senator Charles Schumer (Syracuse office): (315) 423-5471
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Syracuse office): (315) 448-0470
- Join the CNY Solidarity Coalition. We meet most Sundays at 3pm, and all are welcome. For more info: (315) 472-5478, CNYSolidarity@gmail.com, https://cnysolidarity.org/, https://www.facebook.com/cnysolidarity/, or @IndivisibleNY24.