Sixty national and pro-life leaders signed a joint letter calling on the U.S. Senate to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, a judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, is President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings started in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday and Democrats have promised to put up a fight.
National leaders who signed include Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, Frank Cannon of American Principles Project, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Lila Rose of Live Action among others. Iowans who signed include Jenifer Bowen, the founder of Life Right Action and spokesperson for Iowa Right to Life, as well as, Scott Valencia, the Chief Operations Officer of Iowa Right to Life.
The text of the letter reads:
On behalf of the millions of members of our national and state-based pro-life and pro-family organizations listed below, we urge your support for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Gorsuch is widely recognized as a jurist possessed of deep intelligence and true fairmindedness. In 2006 the U.S. Senate recognized these qualities, confirming Gorsuch without dissent to his current position on the 10th Circuit. After a decade of constitutionally sound and clearly written rulings and opinions, Judge Gorsuch deserves once again the swift approval of the Senate.
Many will attest to Judge Gorsuch’s judicial temperament and his respectful treatment of everyone in proceedings before him. He has consistently applied an originalist approach to the Constitution, and a respect for the separation of powers, reminiscent of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. We believe that Judge Gorsuch’s thoughtful opinions illuminate how he would decide difficult questions on the Supreme Court. Many of our organizations applauded Judge Gorsuch when he evinced a keen understanding and respect for religious liberty in cases involving Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, concluding that application of the Affordable Care Act’s preventive service mandate, coupled with massive fines on religious objectors to elements of the mandate, substantially burdens religious liberty.
Judge Gorsuch dissented in a case where a 10th Circuit panel sided with Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, when it overrode the factual finding of the federal district court and issued a preliminary injunction against the Governor of Utah’s decision to defund the abortion business over allegations of its involvement in potential violations of law regarding trading in fetal organs.iii Gorsuch faulted the 10th Circuit majority for failing to follow the appropriate standard of review and the customary deference to the factual findings of the court below.
Outside of the judicial context, Neil Gorsuch has proven himself to be a defender of the most basic human rights. He argues in his widely praised book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, that “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable” and that “the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”iv Judge Gorsuch couples such personal convictions with a determination, as he said on the occasion of his nomination, to
Judge Gorsuch is made for such a time as this, and he has earned your support for elevation to the Supreme Court of the United States. We hope his convictions, writings, and values will lead you to the same conclusion. We urge his swift confirmation.
Unlike President Trump’s cabinet appointments that only required a majority vote under current Senate rules Supreme Court appointments require a 60-vote supermajority for confirmation.
The letter to Senators is spearheaded by Susan B. Anthony List and signed by members of the Pro-life Court Coalition is part of a weeks-long effort to rally grassroots online and on the ground in support of Judge Gorsuch. In addition to an online petition campaign, the coalition has focused its efforts on Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018 states by holding rallies and press conferences in Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
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