On Jan. 31, President Donald Trump hosted a live broadcast to announce his nominee for the open seat in the Supreme Court of the United States. His nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has been on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for over ten years and, as someone who had never heard of him before, I went snooping. Here’s your comprehensive guide to understanding Neil Gorsuch’s political views and history!
Birth Control and Religious Freedom
In 2014, Hobby Lobby appealed to the 10th Circuit Court that, as a company, they could not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s coverage of contraceptives for their female employees under company insurance plans. Their main argument was that giving women access to contraceptives was fundamentally against their religion. Gorsuch voted in favor of Hobby Lobby, as did the majority. He later wrote, “As they understand it, ordering their companies to provide insurance coverage for drugs or devices whose use is inconsistent with their faith itself violates their faith, representing a degree of complicity their religion disallows.”
In another case taken to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, United States vs. Games-Perez, Gorsuch voted in favor of a new hearing for a man who was convicted of being in possession a gun after a previous conviction prohibited him from owning or possessing one. A main proponent of the appeal was that it was supposedly unclear as to whether or not the man knew that he was not allowed to have the weapon. Gorsuch was on the losing end of this vote and there was no rehearing.
The act of a terminally ill person ending his or her own life with the help of a physician is an idea that Gorsuch feels very strongly about. He wrote a book titled “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” in which he talks about the inviolability of the human life and how the act of taking a life is always wrong. He fears that the legalization of assisted suicide or euthanasia could morph into allowing things such as suicide pacts and the “selling of one’s life.” An assisted suicide case has never been discussed within the Supreme Court, but it is obvious where Neil Gorsuch will stand if his nomination makes it through the senate vote.
Neil Gorsuch has not made an official statement on his personal views on abortion, but when looking contextually at his book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” where he states that he believes every taking of a human life is inherently wrong, it could be easy to assume his beliefs. But, when asked his opinion on Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that gave women the constitutional right to an abortion, he has said he believes that the Constitution should be respected and upheld.
Many things are changing under the Trump administration, and the Supreme Court will be no different with an estimated four Supreme Court seats that Donald Trump could potentially fill in his first term. So, the nomination of Neil Gorsuch serves as some form of insight as to whom President Trump will be nominating to fill these seats in the future. It’s up to you to decide if you agree with them.