The Gorsuch Nomination

Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, probably would not have joined the ruling in favor of marriage equality, although he is a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the Obergefell decision.

In 2005, LGBTQ Nation reports, Gorsuch wrote an article for National Review in which he argued that liberals are using the courts too much to advance their agenda, and he cited same-sex marriage:

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… .

…too much reliance on constitutional litigation is also bad for the Left itself. The Left’s alliance with trial lawyers and its dependence on constitutional litigation to achieve its social goals risks political atrophy. Liberals may win a victory on gay marriage when preaching to the choir before like-minded judges in Massachusetts. But in failing to reach out and persuade the public generally, they invite exactly the sort of backlash we saw in November when gay marriage was rejected in all eleven states where it was on the ballot.

Marriage equality was eventually achieve through the courts, and—unlike the abortion-ruling aftermath—without an escalation of the initial backlash the Gorsuch noted. But his arguments aren’t those of the fire-breathing LGBT-rights opponent of progressive fear-mongering.

Gorsuch does support religious liberty rights, which will drive the LGBT left berserk. He ruled against the government in a case involving the Obamacare mandate that employer health plans provide no-cost contraceptive coverage to female workers, including drugs some consider to be abortifacients. As LGBTQ Nation notes:

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the corporation argued that its religious beliefs were being violated by the ACA. Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby, holding that a for-profit business could have religious beliefs, with which the Supreme Court later agreed.

I agreed, too.

Gorsuch is a conservative, but he’s not a social conservative activist. I don’t expect that liberal media will pay much attention to the distinction.

More. An email just received from Zeke Stokes at GLAAD:

Gorsuch’s record on the federal bench means his appointment to the court could put LGBTQ people at risk, from workplace protections to even marriage equality. Coming on the heels of rumors of a sweeping Trump executive order attacking the LGBTQ community, this appointment could spell danger for LGBTQ people, women, people of color, immigrants, and other marginalized communities — many of whom are already targets of Trump’s actions.

A follow-up from GLAAD explains:

We just got some devastating news. According to breaking media reports, a leaked copy of a draft executive order reveals plans by the Trump Administration to allow for widespread discrimination against LGBTQ people across the country– much like the law Vice President Mike Pence signed as governor of Indiana.

Attacking religious liberty rights will be the singular issue of the LGBT left (which is to say, the LGBT political movement) going forward.

10 Comments for “The Gorsuch Nomination”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    In 2005, … Gorsuch wrote an article for National Review in which he argued that liberals are using the courts too much to advance their agenda, and he cited same-sex marriage ..

    A curious, academic, and somewhat clueless argument to be made in 2005.

    After the Bush/Rove/Mehlman-engineered anti-marriage amendment tsunami, gays and lesbians had no alternative to using the federal courts.

    After the amendments were in place, the legislatures no longer had power to change the marriage law in states with the amendments. In states without the amendments, gays and lesbians did work through the legislatures and succeeded in many.

    But with the democratic process foreclosed in 30+ states, what did conservative theorists expect us to do? Fold up and wimper?

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      But with the democratic process foreclosed in 30+ states, what did conservative theorists expect us to do? Fold up and wimper?

      That reminds me. How many states have Republican control of both the governorship and the legislature? Has that number gone up or down since 2005?

      “Marriage equality was eventually achieve through the courts, and—unlike the abortion-ruling aftermath—without an escalation of the initial backlash the Gorsuch noted.”

      Just because the Tea Party cleans up after itself does not mean the backlash has not escalated. Donald Trump took the discontent, and twisted it, saying, “This is the real forgotten America.” And he attracted support from the anonymous, underground alt-right and white nationalist segments of the country. And he even kept Republican support from the anonymous underground segments of minority communities (except probably the LGB community).

      And it’s not like Trump was the first one to benefit from a sense of dissatisfaction. Those 25 states didn’t ripen overnight, and Bush and Rove are long gone.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Just because the Tea Party cleans up after itself does not mean the backlash has not escalated. Donald Trump took the discontent, and twisted it, saying, “This is the real forgotten America.” And he attracted support from the anonymous, underground alt-right and white nationalist segments of the country. And he even kept Republican support from the anonymous underground segments of minority communities (except probably the LGB community).

      I would think you would be pleased, Jorge, that a backlash against marriage equality turned the states red. You are a self-identified social conservative, after all.

      The polls on same-sex marriage don’t back you up on the supposed backlash, though.

      So one of two things are possible: (1) other factors are primarily responsible for the state-level Republican trifectas, and minority opposition to marriage equality is a contributing but not primary factor, or (2) anti-Faggotism is like anti-Semitism, hidden from public view (and hence not reflected in the polls) by “political correctness”, but virulent and powerful nonetheless.

      A bit of both, would be my guess.

      And it’s not like Trump was the first one to benefit from a sense of dissatisfaction. Those 25 states didn’t ripen overnight, and Bush and Rove are long gone.

      You are dead right about that. The Republican Party has been whipping up and living off fear and loathing of homosexuals for decades.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        I would think you would be pleased, Jorge, that a backlash against marriage equality turned the states red. You are a self-identified social conservative, after all.

        As I have explained to you before, I’m socially conservative, not a social conservative.

        I am happy Trump changed some of the Republican party’s priorities, not so happy about the Tea Party’s role within the party. The states? I’d like them more bipartisan, but the closest we seem to get to bipartisan government is the controlling party changing every couple of years. Let the Republican control last a few years longer.

        You are dead right about that. The Republican Party has been whipping up and living off fear and loathing of homosexuals for decades.

        I suppose I’ll take what agreement I can get.

        Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      I think they hoped that us gays would all shut up, but still make their clothes, fix their mistresses hair and vote Republican.

      Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, probably would not have voted for marriage equality, although he is a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the Obergefell ruling.

    In 2005, LGBTQ Nation reports, Gorsuch wrote an article for National Review in which he argued that liberals are using the courts too much to advance their agenda, and he cited same-sex marriage:Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, probably would not have voted for marriage equality, although he is a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the Obergefell ruling.

    ……

    1) At first impression, these two paragraphs state ideas that have little to do with each other. One is about whether one would vote for gay marriage, the other is about the use of the courts.

    (Mr. Miller means how he would have voted in the judges’ chambers.)

    Oh.

    2) There is also the matter of timing. 2005 was about 10 or so polling percentage points ago.

    Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Gorsuch is a conservative, but he’s not a social conservative activist. I don’t expect that liberal media will pay much attention to the distinction.

    The relevant question is not his political leaning, but his judicial philosophy. Gorsuch is remarkably similar to Justice Scalia in that respect, as you are likely to find out over the coming years.

    Reply
    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Like religious right folks, “originalists” always seem blessed in that their political philosophy perfectly matches what they think God/the founding fathers intended.

      Very convenient to be them.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        But wait. Judge Gors’ch-ito is a “textualist” who dislikes reading legislative intent into the law. The law means what it says–the right to bear arms shall not be infringed–not what the founding fathers intended it to say–searching cell phones without a warrant? Sure!

        Reply
  4. posted by Houndentenor on

    I agree we relied too much on the courts. But we kept losing the ballot initiatives because the religious right lied and lied and lied some more. When those same folks were put under oath they were exposed for the liars they are. Maybe if we lived in a culture where evidence and reason mattered we wouldn’t lose so often at the ballot box, but fact don’t matter in the 21st century which is how we got President Bannon.

    Reply

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