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After Confirmation to Supreme Court, Burden on Gorsuch Remains

April 7, 2017

Washington, DC – On news of the Senate’s confirmation of President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch – the day after Republican Leader Mitch McConnell changed Senate rules to enable Gorsuch’s confirmation with less than 60 votes – Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:

“As the Supreme Court faces critical cases that require balancing interests in religious liberty and equal protection; assessing the constitutionality of reasonable gun regulations; and determining how readily injured individuals can access the courts, we hope that a Justice Gorsuch will be the originalist that he professes to be. In fact, as we have argued, he must be a true originalist who respects the Constitution’s entire text and history. 

"When President Trump nominated Judge Gorsuch, we said he had a heavy burden to prove, given that the President promised during the 2016 campaign to pick Supreme Court nominees who meet his litmus tests on abortion, guns, and evangelical religious liberty. We concluded that Gorsuch hadn’t met that burden during his confirmation hearing, given his unwillingness to recognize that core fundamental rights are protected under an originalist understanding of the Constitution. This unwillingness heightened our concerns that he is only a selective originalist, unwilling to respect the entire text and history of the Constitution, and we felt compelled to oppose his nomination.   

“But now that he has been confirmed, we certainly hope that Justice Gorsuch will fulfill Judge Gorsuch’s commitments: to be an independent jurist, to be a good judge who respects precedent, to be an originalist who respects the Constitution’s radical guarantee of equality and follows the text and history of the Constitution wherever it leads. From the rights of workers, to the right of women to be equal citizens, to the right of African-Americans to vote free from racial discrimination – the burden remains on Gorsuch to prove that he will be a Justice who fairly applies the law and the Constitution and does not, contrary to President Trump’s promises, just represent certain segments of the population.”

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Resources:

CAC’s work on President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court: https://theusconstitution.org/nomination-judge-neil-gorsuch-supreme-court 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.

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