Daines, Tester Should Oppose Gorsuch

The Supreme Court may be our last best hope for protecting civil rights

I’m deeply concerned about the future of the Supreme Court when it comes to discrimination against LGBTQ people. As I person of faith who works with lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and allied youth at my church, I see the personal impact when “religious freedom” is used to justify discrimination against people who are different. A month into Donald Trump’s presidency, the Supreme Court may be our last best hope for protecting the civil rights of those who are most vulnerable in society.

While Trump’s nominee, Federal Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, hasn’t ruled directly on LGBTQ rights, he has a disturbing record of using religious freedom to prevent access to birth control and believes that corporations are people. He’s advocated that companies like Hobby Lobby have the “right” to deny birth control insurance coverage to female employees, citing the company’s religious freedom.

We can’t take for granted that same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. Confirming a biased Supreme Court justice could undermine those rights too. In a National Review op-ed, Gorsuch wrote that “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”

That doesn’t sound like an independent and fair-minded judge, but rather a conservative ideologue who will rubber stamp Trump’s agenda. I expect Sen. Steve Daines and Sen. Jon Tester to strongly oppose Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation.

Paige Rappleye