Washington D.C., Mar 22, 2017 / 12:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Judge Neil Gorsuch deserves “swift confirmation” to the U.S. Supreme Court, leaders of pro-life and pro-family groups have said.
“Neil Gorsuch has proven himself to be a defender of the most basic human rights,” said the March 20 letter, organized by the Susan B. Anthony List and addressed to U.S. Senators.
The letter cited Gorsuch’s book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” in which he said “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
Over 50 leaders signed the letter, including representatives of the Susan B. Anthony List, Live Action, National Right to Life, Students for Life, and state pro-life groups and pro-family groups.
They praised Gorsuch as an intelligent and fair-minded nominee with a fitting temperament, citing his 2006 unanimous confirmation by the Senate to his current seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We believe that Judge Gorsuch’s thoughtful opinions illuminate how he would decide difficult questions on the Supreme Court,” the letter said.
If approved by the Senate, Gorsuch’s presence on the Supreme Court could affect important cases involving religious freedom and legal abortion, among others.
The letter praised the judge’s “keen understanding and respect for religious liberty” in the cases of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. Both faced federal requirements to provide employee health insurance coverage for drugs and procedures they considered to be violations of religion and ethics. They filed legal challenges saying the mandates were unconstitutionally burdensome on their religious freedom.
“Many of our organizations applauded Judge Gorsuch when he evinced a keen understanding and respect for religious liberty in cases involving Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, concluding that application of the Affordable Care Act’s preventive service mandate, coupled with massive fines on religious objectors to elements of the mandate, substantially burdens religious liberty.”
The letter also cited Gorsuch’s dissent in a 10th Circuit panel decision that sided with abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
The panel overrode the finding of a federal district court over Planned Parenthood’s alleged involvement in violations of laws barring the procurement of fetal tissue for profit. The panel also issued an injunction against the Utah governor’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood over the allegations.
Gorsuch said the panel majority failed to follow appropriate standards of judicial review and failed to show customary deference to the lower court’s factual findings.
According to the March 20 letter, Gorsuch would apply an “originalist” approach to the U.S. Constitution and would respect the separation of powers in the tradition of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The letter praised the Gorsuch’s statement that judges should “administer justice equally to rich and poor alike, following the law as they find it and without respect to their personal political beliefs.”
Several of the letter’s signers, including Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, served on the Catholic advisory board to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for president.
Gorsuch, an Epsicopalian, has clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He earned his doctorate at Oxford University, where his studies were supervised by the influential Catholic legal philosopher and natural law theorist John Finnis.
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