NC groups oppose Gorsuch nomination to US Supreme Court
RALEIGH – A coalition of North Carolina advocacy groups gathered outside the downtown Raleigh office of US Sen. Thom Tillis on Monday to voice opposition to the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court.
The press conference was held at the same time that the US Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearings on President Donald Trump's nomination of Gorsuch to the nation's highest court.
"There are dozens of ways in which Gorsuch would be the wrong choice for any president," said Rob Schofield from NC Policy Watch. "On dozens of issues throughout his life and career, Gorsuch has shown himself to be a right-wing extremist who would take America backwards."
– Bob Phillips, Common Cause NC
MaryBe McMillan with the state AFL-CIO said that Gorsuch's view on workers' rights made him the wrong pick for the court.
"Working people need a judge on the Supreme Court who will look out for the little guy, a judge who understands that there can be no special protections for the wealthy and corporations, a judge who will uphold our constitutional and moral values of liberty, equality and justice for all," McMillan said. "Neil Gorsuch is not that judge."
That sentiment was echoed by Tara Romano, director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, who said, "It is in the best interest of all of us, no matter ones political ideology, for a fair and impartial court that interprets the Constitution with the lens of protecting and expanding rights for all Americans. Unfortunately, this is not what we are offered with the choice of Judge Neil Gorsuch."
Ames Simmons, a board member with the Human Rights Campaign, said Gorsuch's views on privacy rights and protections for LGBT Americans raised serious concerns about his potential impact on the court.
"The person who is confirmed as the ninth justice of the Supreme Court will affect the laws of our country for years to come. That person should be an equitable jurist who is willing to uphold decades of civil rights jurisprudence acknowledging the fundamental rights of privacy and self-determination of identity," Simmons said. "Based on his own statements, Neil Gorsuch is not that person."
Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC, noted that Gorsuch's nomination could have a significant impact on North Carolina voting rights and gerrymandering cases that may be decided by the US Supreme Court. He said Gorsuch's views are cause for concern about a rollback on equal access to the polls.
"We need a justice that will defend voting rights to make sure that voting isn't made harder for certain groups of people in our country. We need to make sure that our voting districts are not gerrymandered to where people's votes are diluted," Phillips said. "And finally, we need to try to have some kind of control over the explosion of special-interest money that is distorting our democracy."
Phillips urged Senators Tillis and Richard Burr to "fully vet" the selection of Gorsuch "and make sure that we the people get a justice that our country deserves to ensure that we have a healthy democracy."