Washington, February 1 (RHC)-- U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated a judge known for his pro-life and anti-LGBT rights stance to be the ninth judge on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Neil Gorsuch is a young judge from the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump defended his choice in a White House ceremony, calling Gorsuch "a man of our country and a man which our country needs really bad."
Gorsuch, hand-picked on a list by right-wing activists, joined an opinion in 2013 saying that owners of private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision of the Obamacare health insurance law requiring employers to provide coverage for birth control for women.
Political analysts say his positions could threaten clean air and water, safe food and medicine, women’s access to health services and LGBT equality.
Winnie Stachelberg from the Center for American Progress told reporters that Gorsuch would bring the U.S. back to “a bygone era on women and LGBT rights because he doesn’t believe the Constitution protects all of us," adding: “He’s just protecting the wealthy and the powerful.”
Specifically, Stachelberg said Gorsuch would serve as a “rubber stamp” for Trump and the “huge corporations and special interests” surrounding him, which could “reshape fundamental U.S. civil rights and civil liberties for decades.”
Janai Nelson of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called him “an extreme conservative” and a “cause for grave concern” for wanting to roll back the roll of the courts in deciding policy and protecting equal rights. Those who will suffer, she said, are workers, women, persons with disabilities and victims of police violence.
Since Antonin Scalia's death, the Supreme Court has been ideologically split with four conservatives and four liberals. Gorsuch's appointment could be pivotal in cases involving abortion, gun control, religious and transgender rights, the death penalty and other contentious matters.