Two weeks after Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing, the U.S. Senate is expected to make major moves toward putting him on the Supreme Court today (April 6). At 11 a.m. EDT, Senate Democrats are expected to block the body’s consideration of Gorsuch’s nomination. Senate Republicans have vowed to respond by changing Senate rules to allow approval of the nomination via a simple majority vote, rather than the currently required 60 votes, which they don’t have. This is often called invoking the “nuclear option,” and it would shake up the way Supreme Court judges are confirmed moving forward.
The final confirmation vote for Gorsuch is scheduled for tomorrow (April 7). The Washington Post reports that 52 Republicans and three Democrats are expected to advance him to the SCOTUS.
In an essay posted to Mic yesterday, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) breaks down why installing Gorsuch in the late Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the court is bad for the nation. She starts by sharing how she—a woman who is both African- and Indian-American—has been personally impacted by SCOTUS.
I know from personal experience just how profoundly the court’s decisions touch every aspect of Americans’ lives. Almost two decades after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, I was part of only the second class to integrate the Berkeley, California, public schools. If that court had ruled differently, I likely would not have become a lawyer, or a prosecutor, or a district attorney or the attorney general of California, and I certainly would not be a United States senator.
Judge Gorsuch went through four days of hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here’s what we learned: We learned that Judge Gorsuch refused to answer the most basic of questions. He initially even refused to share his views on Brown v. Board of Education. We learned that Judge Gorsuch has a deeply conservative worldview. And we learned that Judge Gorsuch interprets the law in a theoretical bubble, completely detached from the real world. As he puts it, “focusing backward, not forward.”
She continues on to discuss his record on issues that are central to the lived experiences of women in this country.
America deserves a Supreme Court justice who will protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own health. Judge Gorsuch won’t. Judge Gorsuch has carefully avoided speaking about abortion. But he’s clearly demonstrated a hostility to women’s access to health care. Last year, when the court he sits on sided with Planned Parenthood, Judge Gorsuch took the highly unusual step of asking the court to hear the case again. Judge Gorsuch also determined that a 13,000-person for-profit corporation was entitled to exercise the same religious beliefs as a person—meaning that the company did not have to provide employees birth control coverage and could impose the company’s religious beliefs on all of its female employees. Why does Judge Gorsuch believe that corporations deserve full rights and protections, but women don’t?
Americans deserve a Supreme Court justice who will protect the rights of women in the workplace. Judge Gorsuch won’t. In employment discrimination cases, Judge Gorsuch has consistently sided with companies against their employees. These employees include women like Betty Pinkerton. The facts of her case were undisputed. Her boss repeatedly asked her about her sexual habits and breast size and invited her to his home—then fired her when she reported his sexual harassment. Judge Gorsuch ruled against Betty. Why? Part of the justification that he offered was that she waited two months before reporting the harassment. …
He has repeatedly failed to show that he fully understands those important words—“Equal Justice Under Law.” For the highest court in the land, we should find someone who does.
Read the full essay here, read our breakdown of how Gorsuch has ruled on issues that impact people of color here and watch the Senate duke it out over Gorsuch’s nomination live below.