Ahead of the hearing, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund released a comprehensive report on March 16 that analyzes Gorsuch’s judicial record on civil rights. The analysis lays out the organization’s opposition to his confirmation.
“Judge Gorsuch’s ten-year record of judicial decision-making offers no clear demonstration that he understands the importance of courts in vindicating the rights of those most dependent on the promise of equal justice under law. To the contrary, his record reflects a propensity toward minimizing equality protections across various areas. For these reasons, LDF must oppose the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.”
Based on his record, the organization has concerns about how Gorsuch would approach civil rights cases. What also raises a red flag is the judge’s conservative ideological leaning.
“Across different issues, including when race is directly and indirectly implicated, Judge Gorsuch has regularly favored the interests of the privileged and powerful—whether the government, corporations, or wealthy individuals—at the expense of equality and inclusion,” the LDF said.
Under the category of administrative law, the LDF’s analysis found that Gorsuch has opposed the “well-established” principle that courts accept federal agency rulemaking when statutory interpretation is ambiguous. Consequently, his approach would diminish the regulatory authority that protects workers, the environment and consumers.
The analysis found that Gorsuch would likely restrict access to justice in the federal court system. He’s also shown himself to support capital punishment, and leans toward protecting law enforcement in cases that challenge the constitutionality of police conduct.
According to the LDF, the judge is likely to side with corporations in disputes concerning employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation. As a judge, Gorsuch has also ruled against a transgender woman who sought the right at her workplace to use the restroom that accords with her gender identity.
The organization said there’s still much that’s unknown about Gorsuch’s record, and urged the Senate committee to delay its hearing until those records are available.