Gorsuch: Conservative is Not the Word I Would Use

When Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court, he stated that he had picked him as someone who would be a conservative similar to former Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia was considered a proponent of originalism. Unfortunately, that is the least of the problems with Gorsuch as a justice.

Originalism

Typically, constitutional attorneys consider the US Constitution to be changeable document; in other words, it is not static but permits changes in its interpretation. For example, for decades SCOTUS upheld segregation under “equal but separate” opinions. Those who believe the Constitution is a living document, those who do not follow originalism, see that underscored by changes implemented by many anti-segregation rulings. However, lawyers and justices who follow originalism would arbitrate changes on how they view the original document as written by the authors. “Justice Scalia’s opponents stress that by interpreting the Constitution in its original form, any progressive law would be declared unconstitutional because it doesn’t adhere to the original intent of the founders.” [1]  Scalia used originalism to vote against Affordable Care Act, to support an anti-sodomy law, and to vote George W Bush into office to end the 2000 Presidential election.  In fact, his view of originalism incorporated support for what he called moral legislation, that is, laws that uphold certain Christian beliefs under the guise of Constitutional liberties.

Personally, I am not a fan of originalism nor do I see any reason to return to a society that views white men who are landowners as citizens and everyone else not. I surmise that many minorities, women, LBGTQ people, reformists, historians, liberals, progressives, and Democrats (as well as many others) would have a problem with returning to the culture in effect at the time of the writing of the US Constitution, especially if it comes with an overlay of right-wing Christian condemnatory beliefs.

Assuming that Gorsuch is a legitimate proponent of originalism, which is not really confirmed, that stand would be reason enough to dislike his viewpoints. However, Gorsuch has other attitudes that cause me concern.

Views on Religious Freedom

In 2013, Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby’s refusal to provide birth control as part of its insurance for employees. In fact, he stated that any individual should be allowed “to challenge the government’s rules for employer-sponsored health insurance plans.”[2]  He extended his religious rulings to permit prisoners to attend sweat lodges — a ruling that I support. However, I am concerned that Gorsuch will further erode the separation between church and state on which the US Constitution was based. Please see Amendment 1, if you doubt the veracity of that separation. Please see Amendment 1, if you doubt the veracity of that separation.

Views on Birth Control

Under the concept of religious freedom, Gorsuch has consistently sided against access to contraception. Please realize he was not simply against abortion; he sided against any method of birth control. The privilege of safe contraception was a long hard battle in the US. Beginning in the late 1800s, women fought to obtain legal and safe birth control, and no, I’m not talking about abortion. Nurses and doctors went to jail for prescribing birth control devices such as diaphragms or simply talking about methods like how to use condoms. In 1965, SCOTUS ruled that it was illegal to prevent married couples from using birth control. Please note the year: 1965! Prior to 1965, any type of birth control device or pill was illegal. If nothing about this man concerns you, his stand against insurance coverage of birth control should.

Views on Fascism

While there have been posts about Gorsuch founding a fascism club in high school, Factcheck.org claims it was not true. Apparently, we are to believe it was a joke. Gorsuch wrote it for his yearbook biography “to poke fun at liberal peers.” [3]  Now, I recognize that high school students do dumb things, but I have never known a student who thought that fascism was a joke (especially one who had read Anne Frank or studied WWII). So, we are left with a choice: we can believe that he thought calling himself a fascist was funny or we can believe that he thinks lying about his activities is okay (or that it was acceptable to do so in high school) — or we can believe both.

In any case, I ask you to consider if this man should be seated on the Supreme Court as judge of highest law in US and permitted to influence our society for the rest of his life. If you think he should, I invite your comments below. If you think that he should not, I invite you to send postcards to your senators and representatives, President Trump, and to other senators and representatives. Of course, if you agree with me that there has to be a better choice for justice, you can comment below too.

 

Footnotes

[1]. “Antonin Scalia Biography”  BIO (A&E Television Networks, LLC) (2016)  online at  http://www.biography.com/people/antonin-scalia-9473091#synopsis (2/13/2017).

[2].  Steve Vladeck “Hobby Lobby and executive power: Gorsuch’s key rulings”  CNN Politics (2017)  online at http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/politics/hobby-lobby-executive-power-gorsuch-key-rulings/ (2/13/2017).

[3]    D’Angelo Gore , “Neil Gorsuch Didn’t Start Fascism Club.” FactCheck.org (2017)  online at http://www.factcheck.org/2017/02/neil-gorsuch-didnt-start-fascism-club/ (2/13/2017).

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About Lillith ThreeFeathers

Lillith ThreeFeathers is a shamanic healer, author, medium, and priestess.
This entry was posted in Medicine & Health, Politics, Society and Civilization, Spirituality & Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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