Neil Gorsuch — Donald Trump’s anti-abortion and anti-LGBT Supreme Court nominee — is on track to get confirmed as soon as next week.
Democrats in the Senate are hoping they can kill the nomination with a filibuster, although there may be enough support for Gorsuch’s nomination to defeat a filibuster and allow the vote to happen.
Reproductive rights advocates are extremely concerned about his nomination, and rightfully so. Gorsuch had a hand in the Hobby Lobby case, the game changing ruling that a corporation’s “sincerely held beliefs” could be used to deny employees access to essential healthcare. He ruled on the Hobby Lobby case before it reached the Supreme Court, broadly interpreting the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act as protecting a business based on the owner’s “sincerely held,” even if medically inaccurate, beliefs.
The Supreme Court ultimately upheld that ruling, and so now women face increased barriers to getting birth control if it makes their employer squeamish.
“His record shows that time and time again, his approach to the law gives the benefit of the doubt to employers, politicians, and other powerful entities, rather than the vulnerable individuals who rely on the law for protection. And time and time again, this approach disadvantages women,” Fatima Goss Graves, the President-elect of National Women’s Law Center, testified before Congress.
Graves also told Congress she was concerned that, “he would fulfill the President’s political promises,” including his promise to select an anti-abortion Supreme Court Judge that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“If he is confirmed, women would feel the devastating impact of his decisions for generations to come,” she concluded.
LGBT advocates have likewise been concerned. Lambda Legal, along with more than a dozen other LGBT organizations, sent a letter to Congress saying:
“After a comprehensive review of Judge Gorsuch’s record, we have concluded that his views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law,” the letter reads.
They go on to say that, “ his views are even more extreme and outside the mainstream than Justice Scalia’s, whom Judge Gorsuch is proposed to replace.”
The court is poised to consider groundbreaking cases related to the rights of transgender individuals, and stand as the last defense as states continue to roll back women’s access to abortion. All this means that a Justice Neil Gorsuch could prove devastating to communities that have fought for decades to have their right’s recognized.