Blog

HRC Calls on Pro-Equality Senators to Vote ‘No’ & Filibuster Neil Gorsuch

Today, HRC continued their historic opposition to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court by calling on every pro-equality member of the U.S. Senate to vote “no” and filibuster his nomination.

“Last week, Neil Gorsuch refused to answer basic questions regarding his alarming history of opposing civil rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Anyone looking to gain a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court must prove they will apply a compassionate, impartial, and inclusionary interpretation of the Constitution faithful to its drafters’ vision — and Judge Gorsuch proved he is not that person. We believe every U.S. Senator must not only oppose Neil Gorsuch but also filibuster his nomination. Republicans should not unilaterally change long standing Senate rules to allow Trump’s nominee to waltz into the Supreme Court.”

Last week before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow outlined the equality case against Judge Gorsuch. In one of the most powerful moments during the hearing, Warbelow said, “We need a justice who recognizes our basic equality and shared humanity. Judge Gorsuch has never met this bar.” She went on to detail the nominee’s disturbing history in opposing civil rights for the LGBTQ community and the profound consequences this appointment could have for generations to come.

Gorsuch has a long and troubling career opposing civil rights, including for LGBTQ people:

  • Gorsuch called marriage equality part of the liberal social agenda, saying. “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom… as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide…”
  • He joined the Tenth Circuit’s decision in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, which asserted that  that some private corporations are “people” under federal law and have a right to deny basic healthcare coverage if it violates their religious belief. This expansive ruling could allow employers to deny transgender employees access to hormone treatment, access to birth control and other crucial health care for LGBTQ people.
  • Hobby Lobby could have negative long-term consequences beyond health care for the LGBTQ community. There are those who are already trying to use the decision to advance discrimination against LGBTQ workers.
  • In 2015, Gorsuch joined a ruling against a transgender woman who was denied consistent access to hormone therapy while incarcerated. The ruling dismissed the prisoner’s claims that the denial of care amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. Constitution.
  • He has advocated for eliminating Chevron deference, a critical administrative law doctrine that allows our federal system of regulations to function, which could result in the significant loss protections for LGBTQ people.