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February 21, 2017 / IP Memos

Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s SCOTUS pick, has contributed to anti-choice politicians for decades

The Supreme Court exists to defend our basic rights as Americans and must serve as a check on this runaway administration. After Trump’s disastrous first week on the job—from his global gag rule to his travel ban on Muslims—we cannot afford to elevate his destructive agenda with a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court. Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to overturn Roe v. Wade and punish women. Now that promise has a name: Neil Gorsuch. He represents an existential threat to legal abortion in the United States and must never wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice. NARAL and our 1.2 million member-activists call on the Senate to reject Trump’s nominee using any and all available means, including the filibuster.

Gorsuch Has A Long Career Linked To Anti-Choice Politicians And Judges.

Gorsuch is a judge on the 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals, appointed by anti-choice President George W. Bush in 2006, and confirmed by voice vote. Previously, Gorsuch clerked for anti-choice Associate Justice Byron White and for mixed-choice Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Federalist Society lists Gorsuch as an “expert” on its website. [Federal Judicial Center, accessed 1/25/17; The Federalist Society, accessed 1/25/17]

Gorsuch Has Donated To Anti-Choice Politicians.

Including Bill Frist In 1999, John McCain In 2000, And George W. Bush In 2000 and 2003. Gorsuch contributed a total of $2,250 to Bush. He also contributed to the Republican National Committee in 2004.  [Center for Responsive Politics, Accessed 1/25/17, via OpenSecrets.org]

Gorsuch Wrote That The ACA’s Contraceptive Policy Forced Hobby Lobby “To Violate Their Religious Faith” By Mandating Coverage Of “Drugs Or Devices That Can Have The Effect Of Destroying A Fertilized Human Egg.”

Gorsuch concurred with the Tenth Circuit’s anti-choice ruling in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius. He wrote a concurring opinion that the ACA’s contraceptive-coverage policy required Hobby Lobby “to violate their religious faith by lending an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.” He continues, “the mandate compels Hobby Lobby and Mardel to underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.” [American Bar Association, 7/7/13; Denver Business Journal, 5/24/13, via Nexis]

Gorsuch Sided With A Politician’s Effort To Defund Planned Parenthood.

In 2016, Gorsuch wrote an anti-choice dissent in a case challenging the Utah governor’s Executive Action defunding Planned Parenthood. In his dissent, Gorsuch describes the motivation for the governor’s order as based on the activities alleged in videos released in the summer of 2015, and not because of the governor’s anti-choice position. [Planned Parenthood Association of Utah v. Herbert, No. 15-4189, 2016]

Gorsuch Compared Hospitals Providing Abortion Services And Assisted Suicide.

Writing, “If The Courts Feel Free To Override The Conscience Of Health Care Providers” In Terms Of Abortion Care, “There Is A Danger They Will Do So” In Terms Of Assisted Suicide As Well. He submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the American Hospital Association in a case about assisted suicide. He referenced Planned Parenthood v. Casey and wrote, in reference to public hospitals being required to provide elective abortions, “If the courts feel free to override the conscience of health care providers in that context, there is a danger they will do so here as well.” [Brief of Amici Curiae American Hospital Association, State of Washington v. Glucksberg, et al, WL 656278 (U.S.) (1996) (Nos. 96-220, 96-1858)]

Gorsuch Wrote A Book Arguing Against The Legalization Of Physician-Assisted Suicide Because Of The Intrinsic Value of Human Life.

Gorsuch’s book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, according to his publisher argued against legalization of assisted suicide and for “the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong.” [Princeton University Press, Accessed 1/25/17]

Gorsuch Joined A Dissenting Opinion Calling The ACA’s Contraceptive-Coverage Policy A Clear Burden.

When the Tenth Circuit decided against rehearing en banc a challenge to the ACA’s contraceptive-coverage policy (Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell), Gorsuch joined the dissenting opinion. Dissenters called the contraceptive-coverage policy a clear burden on the plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion and predicted that the policy would “not long survive.” [Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, No. 13-1540, 2015]

Gorsuch Agreed With A Ruling Against A Transgender Woman Who Was Denied Access To Hormone Therapy While She Was Incarcerated.

In a case relating to the refusal of health-care services, Gorsuch concurred with the Tenth Circuit’s ruling against a transgender woman who was denied consistent access to hormone therapy while incarcerated.  The ruling upheld the lower court’s decision, which rejected the claims that the denial of health-care services was cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution. [Druley v. Patton, No. 14-6114, 2015]

Gorsuch Criticized “The Left’s … Dependence On Constitutional Litigation To Achieve Its Social Goals,” Particularly Gay Marriage.

In an article for the conservative magazine National Review in 2005, Gorsuch criticized “the Left” for advancing too many constitutional lawsuits and described marriage equality as 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 to the use of vouchers for private-school education.” [National Review, 2/7/05]

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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