This may give the Supreme Court a right wing edge for decades.
It’s finally official, Neil Gorsuch, 49, has captured enough votes from the Senate to confirm him to the empty seat on the Supreme Court. This could give conservatives a bigger voice for decades to come.
For over a year the Supreme Court has functioned with only eight justices after the death of Republican Justice Antonin Scalia.
LGBT groups are not pleased with Gorsuch’s confirmation and new position, saying that LGBT civil rights are in extreme jeopardy.
Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur called it a "sad day for the LGBT community," adding in a media statement, “Gorsuch’s opinion in the Hobby Lobby case embraced the use of religious exemptions, which opponents of LGBT equality across the country are attempting to use to gut hard-won LGBT civil rights protections.
“Gorsuch's legal philosophy is far to the right of most Americans who believe in a woman’s right to vote or to reproductive freedom, a separation of church and state, equal protection, marriage equality for same-sex couples or civil rights protections for vulnerable communities.
“At a time when the LGBT community is facing a wave of laws across the country making it permissible to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds, the stakes are higher than ever.”
The National LGBTQ Task Force reacted almost the same way, but they say Gorsuch’s confirmation is putting a bully in a position of power:
“Taking their lead from the Bully-in-Chief Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell twisted and turned the rules of the Senate to ram this extremist nominee through — slashing and burning safeguards for moderation, such as the rule calling for a 60 votes threshold needed to confirm an Associate Supreme Court Justice. We now have a new Justice who is so conservative that he makes Antonin Scalia look moderate,” said Russell Roybal, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.
Equality California adds that the use of the “nuclear option” yesterday undermined a long-held filibuster rule in order to, “place a jurist on the Court who could not win sufficient votes to meet the Senate's historic standard of 60 votes for confirmation because of his extreme views.”
The organization also condemns moderate politicians who helped put Gorsuch in such a powerful and influential position.
They write in a statement: “We are especially disappointed in moderate and purple-state GOP senators who helped undermine our democracy and LGBT civil rights with their vote, in blind allegiance to Donald Trump’s agenda. These include Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and we plan to work with colleague organizations to hold them accountable to the best of our ability. This is a sad day for the LGBT community and for our country.”
Gorsuch said last month that regarding his stance on LGBT issues, he doesn't want the country to return to "horse and buggy" days.
"No one is looking to return us to horse and buggy days," he said. "We’re trying to interpret the law faithfully, taking principles that are enduring and a Constitution that was meant to last ages and apply it and interpret it to today’s problems.”