Trump pick for Supreme Court is out of step with Colorado, demonstrators say

February 2, 2017
Tom McGhee

A group of activists condemned President Donald Trump’s nomination of Colorado resident and U.S. 10th Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying his appointment would threaten hard-won constitutional protections for women, minorities and workers.

Gorsuch has sided with big business interests, supported rulings that give corporations rights that should be reserved for people, and has opposed women’s reproductive rights and the right to assisted suicide, they said at a demonstration on Thursday.

Gena Ozols, political director at NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, said Gorsuch joined in the 10th Circuit’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which eliminated a requirement for nonsecular corporations to provide employees contraceptive protection as part of their health-insurance coverage.That decision suggests he might support overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, according to critics. The majority of Coloradans support abortion, and “Colorado cannot trust him,” Ozols said.

About 25 people gathered outside the Byron White Courthouse in Denver, where the Appeals Court is located, on Thursday to rail against the nomination, which follows almost a year during which Republicans refused to consider former U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the high court.

“The majority Republicans never even met with Garland, meanwhile, (Sen. Cory Gardner) met with Gorsuch the day after the nomination,” said Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado.

To be confirmed, Gorsuch must win a simple majority of senators. But 60 senators must agree to hold an up-or-down vote, and Republicans have only 52 seats.

Republicans can change the rules using the so-called nuclear option to allow confirmation without the up-or-down vote. But that would eliminate the use of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in the future, when Democrats might be faced with a nominee they find even more objectionable.

Some of the demonstrators said Senate Democrats should unite to block his appointment, even if that means Republicans do away with the filibuster.

“From our perspective, they couldn’t pick a worse justice than Gorsuch,” said Stephen Justino, of Colorado Move to Amend, a group formed to fight corporate and financial influence in elections.

 

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