People For the American Way

PFAW: Neil Gorsuch an ‘Unacceptable Nominee Who’d Put Ideology Above the Constitution’


Contact: Laura Epstein or Drew Courtney at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

In response to Donald Trump naming Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court, People For the American Way (PFAW) President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“Judge Neil Gorsuch is an ideological warrior who puts his own right-wing politics above the Constitution, the law and the rights of everyday people.

“Supreme Court justices serve for life, and President Trump’s recent discriminatory executive actions that betray American values send a sobering reminder of how critical it is to have an independent and fair Court. Americans know we need Supreme Court justices who will protect the most fundamental American freedoms. Trump would like a justice who’s a rubber stamp for the kind of anti-constitutional actions that we have seen over just the last week. We simply cannot afford that, and that’s why the Senate should reject Judge Gorsuch.

“Trump could have nominated someone who has demonstrated an understanding that the Constitution and our laws are there to protect all of us. Instead, he’s outsourced his choice to the right-wing Federalist Society and the oil billionaire Koch-supported Heritage Foundation, giving us a nominee who has protected the privileges of the wealthy and powerful, not the rights and freedoms of ordinary people.

“Judge Gorsuch has spent his entire career pushing an extreme agenda that hurts ordinary Americans. He has made clear that he’s a patently unacceptable choice who’d push his own dangerous agenda from the bench. Over the course of his career, he’s turned his back on fundamental American rights, from shutting down claims of gender discrimination in the workplace, to trying to limit Americans’ ability to join class-action lawsuits to challenge corporate wrong-doing, to ruling in the original Hobby Lobby  decision that corporations are people and can refuse to offer their employees birth control, to claiming that a police officer could not be sued for using excessive force when his stun gun killed a young man running from police simply because he was growing marijuana plants. That’s appalling.”

Judge Gorsuch has spent years building an extreme record that makes him unfit for the Supreme Court:

  • Gorsuch has consistently advocated and ruled against workers and in favor of big corporations. He’s argued for limiting class-action lawsuits against corporations and has ruled against women bringing suits that challenge gender discrimination in the workplace.  Such Corporate Court jurisprudence leads to the elevation of corporate interests above the interests of the people, who the Constitution was meant to serve and who the laws were written to protect.
  • He was one of the original judges in the Hobby Lobby decision, in which the Tenth Circuit ruled that corporations are people and that they can refuse to cover birth control as part of their employees’ health insurance. The ruling that Gorsuch joined disturbingly allowed corporations to use religion as a guise to discriminate against women.
  • He ruled that a police officer did not use excessive force when he killed a young man by shooting him in the head with a stun gun, contrary to his training manual. The man had been stopped by police after he admitted that some marijuana plants were his, at which point he ran off. At no point had he committed any violent acts.  At a time when the abuses of our criminal justice system are becoming a national crisis, we cannot confirm a justice who does not understand the role of the Supreme Court to protect the most vulnerable among us.
  • Gorsuch has supported overruling the so-called Chevron doctrine, an established Supreme Court rule deferring to administrative agencies’ interpretation of ambiguous statutes. Even Justice Scalia rightly noted, “[I]n the long run, Chevron will endure and be given its full scope” because “it more accurately reflects the reality of government, and thus more adequately serves its needs.” Overruling this precedent would cause far-reaching repercussions and serious harm to everyday Americans. The doctrine is crucial for worker protections, scientific advancement, and more.

Read more about Gorsuch’s record here:

PFAW spokespeople are available for TV, radio, and print interviews on Trump’s unacceptable nominee and their call for senators to oppose Neil Gorsuch. To schedule an interview, please call 301-325-4538. PFAW and allies will also be holding a rally at the Court in opposition to Gorsuch’s confirmation at 9 PM this evening.

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.