For Immediate Release: February 1, 2017
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STATEMENT FROM THE CALIFORNIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS

CFT opposes the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch

President Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court nominee doubles down on the approach he has taken with his other selections. Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch is a conservative disciple of the late Judge Scalia and a proponent of the Supreme Court as a defender of the original interpretation of the Constitution—a Constitution that was drafted to protect the interests of white slave owners. Judge Gorsuch has advocated against gun control, against the Affordable Care Act and against Roe v Wade—the landmark decision that gives a woman control over her own body. Neil Gorsuch should be rejected by the Senate.

Unlike the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, which requires a simple Senate majority, Supreme Court appointments require 60%. DeVos’s committee confirmation earlier today demonstrates clearly that a track record opposing the mission of the agency she is tapped to lead and remarkable ignorance of its policies are no impediments for the Republican majority. DeVos’s large financial donations to several Senators who voted for her represent an obvious conflict of interest that should have caused them to recuse themselves; but they didn’t.

Trump’s announcement of his nomination of Neil Gorsuch indicates he is attempting to put in place a justice who will approve his likely unconstitutional executive orders. Gorsuch views favorably the Supreme Court’s 2014 ‘Hobby Lobby’ decision, which tossed out language in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to pay for their employees’ contraception coverage.

This nomination will require Republicans reaching across the aisle to confirm. Devos’s confirmation shows the willingness of the Republican majority to rubberstamp reactionary politics, privilege and wealth, and ignore fairness and core American values. A Supreme Court justice must be a fair-minded individual willing to consider facts, law, and the needs of people over profits and corporate agendas. The Senate must reject the nomination of anti-choice, pro-corporate Neil Gorsuch.

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

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