A Senate committee met Monday to discuss the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, a former student of Gorsuch has spoken up about his problematic views on female workers, according to New York Magazine.
Jennifer Sisk, a graduate from the University of Colorado Law School where Gorsuch taught, said that during a class last spring, Gorsuch told his students that firms need to ask prospective women employees about their pregnancy plans, as women will frequently use companies to get paid maternity leave and then quit, New York reported.
“He asked the class to raise their hands if they knew of a female who had used a company to get maternity benefits and then left right after having a baby,” Sisk wrote in the letter.
Sisk told NPR that she had written the letter “so that the proper questions could be asked during his confirmation hearings.”
Another student in the class has denied Sisk’s account in a letter to the committee, and other women who worked with Gorsuch as law clerks have also come forward to say that he treats female employees equally.
According to NPR, Will Hauptman, a current student at the University of Colorado, denies that this incident took place in the way that Sisk described.
“Although Judge Gorsuch did discuss some of the topics mentioned in the letter, he did not do so in the manner described… The judge was very matter-of-fact in that we would face difficult decisions; he himself recalled working late nights when he had a young child with whom he wished to share more time. The seriousness with which the judge asked us to consider these realities reflected his desire to make us aware of them, not any animus against a career or group,” Hauptman wrote in his letter.
Sisk spoke about her concerns in a Facebook post in late January. She ended the comment saying, “He’s still better than the rest of the choices.”
If Gorsuch is confirmed by the Senate as expected, the court will go back to having a 5-4 conservative majority, Reuters reports. Committee members gave opening statements Monday and will take turns questioning the nominee Tuesday.