Following President Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court Tuesday night, a number of Asian American civil rights organizations — including Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) — and leaders voiced concern about the pick.
“Neil Gorsuch’s troubling record on issues of racial discrimination, police brutality, equal protection for LGBTQ Americans, and his hosility toward women’s reproductive rights raises grave concerns regarding his ability to be open-minded, fair, and guided by the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law,” Asian Americans Advancing Justice said in a statement Wednesday.
Gorsuch, who will take the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, is a 49-year-old federal appeals court judge from Colorado who has been described as a conservative mind in the same vein as the late Justice Scalia. Gorsuch, who attended Harvard Law School with former President Barack Obama, served as a Supreme Court law clerk to Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, and is reportedly well-liked by both left and right.
NAPAWF, noting Gorsuch’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby in a lawsuit involving the company’s refusal to pay for contraceptives for their female employees even under the mandate of the Affordable Care Act, released a statement opposing the nomination.
“Judge Gorsuch has a record of interfering with the rights of a person to make their own decisions for their bodies and their health,” NAPAWF said. “We are not confident that Judge Gorsuch could be impartial in upholding the equal rights of all Americans and protecting the reproductive, economic and immigrant rights that should be afforded to Asian American and Pacific Islander and other communities.”
Last year, Gorsuch wanted to rehear a decision that stopped Utah from defunding Planned Parenthood.
“After stealing a Supreme Court seat, Republicans now want a justice who will steal women’s rights,” tweeted Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “Our bodies are not up for debate!”
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) February 1, 2017
This SCOTUS seat belongs to the people — and we need someone who will uphold our civil rights.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 1, 2017
“As President Trump continues to issue executive orders and others stand ready to challenge those orders in our courts of law, the American people need to know they have a fair and independent Supreme Court whose decisions will affect us now and many years into the future,” AAAJ said.
The Supreme Court has operated as an eight-justice unit since Scalia’s death, as Senate Republicans refused for 10 months to give a hearing to Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee.
Just like Merrick Garland, Neil Gorsuch is a respected judge. He should receive the same type of fair & honest consideration in the Senate.
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) February 1, 2017