Litmus Test for Supreme Court Nominee

Judge Neil Gorsuch

January 31, 2017

US Supreme Court, Photo by Jeff (CC BY 2.0)
US Supreme Court, Photo by Jeff (CC BY 2.0)

Now more than ever, the Supreme Court must embrace its role in the system of checks and balances to uphold the rights and  liberties minorities. Separation of powers was designed to defend America against the concentration of power in any one branch and to set limits on the power of the majority.

President Trump has pushed the executive branch to cross these limitations with his Executive Orders. His ban on refugees and immigrants is a clear example of executive overreach. His upcoming EOs carry the potential to marginalize not only American Muslims, but other communities, including women, the LGBTQ community, and the Hispanic community.The Supreme Court must regulate the constitutionality of these orders.

The Supreme Court must also ensure that the legislative branch does not legislate for the majority at the expense of our minorities. At the moment, both houses are dominated by a single-minded mentality. New legislation will likely reflect partisan bias, which does not serve the interests of all Americans. The Court needs to bring balance to the current political climate and leave aside party affiliation in favor of what is just.

Judge Gorsuch has criticized those who have brought constitutional challenges in the courts to protect the rights of those in the LGBT community, enforce the separation of church and state, and the right of privacy. He’s also downplayed the ability of lower courts to enforce critical constitutional values through landmark civil rights and women‘s rights decisions.

The Senate must adopt the following litmus test for any new justice: understanding the constitution to be a document that checks the power of the other branches and protects the rights and liberties of minorities.

Everything in Judge Gorsuch’s record indicates that he would limit the ability of the federal government to protect minorities. This is not acceptable.

To learn more, visit the Alliance for Justice’s Supreme Court nominee page.


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