Earlier tonight, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States. Gorsuch has a long and troubling career opposing civil rights, including for LGBTQ people. Given this record, HRC has taken the extraordinary step of opposing this Supreme Court nominee prior to his confirmation hearing — a first for the organization.
Here are five ways Gorsuch was an opponent of equality:
- 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 support 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.