Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) calls for a filibuster to block confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Supreme Court Justice for several compelling reasons:
By Mike Hersh
As writer Dahlia Lithwick explains, the pro-justice / pro-constitution side’s “best argument [is] that the nomination is wholly illegitimate [and] there is no principled reason for him to have a hearing when Merrick Garland did not.” She allowed that “This is a problem of power, not legal qualifications. And there is not much any Democratic politician can say about that once she’s sitting in a Senate chamber debating the merits of the nominee.”
Still, people of good faith can and should call out Senate Republicans who blocked even the consideration of President Obama’s nominee for their blatant hypocrisy on this, and refuse any efforts to bully or blame Democrats planning to filibuster Gorsuch. Such bullying reportedly includes a most unconservative threat to use “the nuclear option,” by rewriting Senate rules written by Thomas Jefferson!
Ms. Lithwick also stressed concerns about Gorsuch’s “willingness to let people of faith impose their views on others.” She adds that his, “record reflects a pattern of systematically privileging the rights of religious believers over those of religious minorities and nonbelievers. It is, of course, vital and important to protect religious dissenters; the First Amendment could not be clearer.”
We agree. Especially considering Gorsuch’s open hostility to the basic role of courts to defend First Amendment and other rights, as well as his disdain for the doctrine of “separation of church and state” outlined by the prohibition against governmental imposition of a state religion. This expressed in Gorsuch’s own writings in his concurrence with 10th Circuit’s Hobby Lobby decision, which went well beyond the highly controversial Supreme Court decision.
Gorsuch wrote, “It is not for secular courts to rewrite the religious complaint of a faithful adherent, or to decide whether a religious teaching about complicity imposes ‘too much’ moral disapproval on those only ‘indirectly’ assisting wrongful conduct. Whether an act of complicity is or isn’t ‘too attenuated’ from the underlying wrong is sometimes itself a matter of faith we must respect.”
Gorsuch refuses to contemplate that, regarding matters of faith especially, respect must go both ways. The faithful adherents of one religious sect deserve respect, but they do not deserve to impose their particular faith on others. A contrary belief such as Gorsuch has already espoused from the bench is extreme and dangerous to a diverse society. We believe that, whether one is a non-believer or a “faithful adherent”, insinuations that someone might be “complicit” in some transgression of a strictly religious tenets of one or another faith have no special legal standing. On this, the law of the land and those who interpret that law must be clear.
The United States Constitution strictly forbids employers, much less any government, from compelling religious practices on an employee or constituent. Gorsuch insists the opposite is true, despite the clear language of the First Amendment and generations of jurisprudence to the contrary. Gorsuch’s stubborn bias against religious and other freedom represents a decidedly improper theocratically tinged ideology, falling far outside the mainstream of American tradition, and certain to undermine the constitutionally enshrined freedom of religion. His extreme views and temperament threatens basic Constitutional rights and protections we rely upon, including privacy rights, reproductive rights, employees’ rights, and more.
If Neil Gorsuch is elevated to the Supreme Court, we have reason to fear that he would give primacy to his own sectarian religious doctrine at the expense of heretofore legally and constitutionally protected rights and personal freedom. As Senator Edward Kennedy said of Robert Bork before the Senate appropriately blocked that dangerous nominee, Gorsuch is a “walking Constitutional Amendment.” He is a threat to American society, and must be rejected.
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) calls for a filibuster to block confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Supreme Court Justice because of his open hostility to the basic duty of courts to defend the First Amendment. Click here to tell your Senators to support a filibuster
Judge Gorsuch expressed extreme views in his concurrence with 10th Circuit’s Hobby Lobby decision: “It is not for secular courts to rewrite the religious complaint of a faithful adherent….”
Contact your Senators and tell them that Neil Gorsuch’s intolerant temperament would threaten our basic Constitutional rights and protections if he is granted a lifetime appointment to the high court. These including privacy rights, religious freedom, reproductive rights, freedom on conscience, employees’ rights, and more.
Demand that your Senators join the filibuster and prevent his confirmation. Here is the link to take action: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-your-senators-gorsuch-is-the-wrong-choice or find their phone numbers to call them using this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/