Durbin Grills Scotus Nominee Gorsuch On Labor, Human Rights And Civil Rights Record

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today grilled President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, regarding his dubious record on civil and workers’ rights. Durbin asked the nominee to cite specific examples to justify his claims that, as judge, he’s stood up for the rights of minorities, women, and LGBT Americans.
“What you said earlier was that you have a record of speaking out, standing up for those minorities who you believe are not being treated fairly. Can you point to statements, cases you’ve ruled on relative to that class?” asked Durbin. Judge Gorsuch did not provide examples.
In a tense exchange, Durbin also pressed Judge Gorsuch about his relationship with controversial law professor John Finnis, who served as Gorsuch’s mentor at Oxford. Finnis has openly lamented the “reverse colonization” of Europe by racial and religious minorities, and he once compared same-sex relationships with bestiality. Judge Gorsuch declined to condemn his mentor’s incendiary comments.
“[T]he reason I’m raising this is this is a man who apparently had an impact on your life, certainly your academic life, and I’m trying to figure out where we can parse his views from your views, what impact he had on you as a student, [and] what impact he has on you today with his views,” explained the senator.
Additionally, Senator Durbin questioned Gorsuch about his efforts to preserve the legality of torture techniques like waterboarding; allegations made by two University of Colorado law students that the nominee led a gender-targeted discussion regarding the hardship to employers of having female employees who abuse maternity benefits; his unfeeling and poorly-reasoned dissent in the case of truck driver Alphonse Maddin, who lost his job after refusing to stay with his broken trailer in life-threatening weather conditions; and his ruling in favor of corporations over people in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius.