Democratic Wisconsin legislators voiced their opposition to Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in a phone conference Thursday.
Gorsuch serves as a federal appeals court judge for the 10th Circuit. President Donald Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court Jan. 31, and a Senate hearing is set for March 20.
Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, said he was deeply troubled by Gorsuch’s record as a judge.
“Supreme Court nominations are among the most consequential decision[s] a president can make,” Larson said. “The people of Wisconsin deserve an independent Supreme Court justice who will stand up for them over powerful special interests.”
He said Gorsuch puts the rights of corporations and other powerful entities above those of other people.
Larson specifically took issue with Gorsuch’s handling of cases involving workers’ safety, sex-based discrimination and denying workers’ wages.
“Neil Gorsuch has been part of the problem, not the solution,” Larson said.
Rep. Daniel Riemer, D-Milwaukee, and Dane County Supervisor Jenni Dye, District 33, echoed these concerns.
Riemer said it’s important for Wisconsin leaders in the U.S. Senate to look critically at Gorsuch’s record and oppose his nomination.
“Given what we’ve seen and heard from President Trump over the last few weeks, it’s absolutely important that we have a Supreme Court and a Supreme Court justice nominee that will be an independent check to the president,” Riemer said.
Gorsuch gives too much deference to executive power, Riemer said.
Dye specifically called out Gorsuch’s ruling on Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, in which he joined an opinion that prohibited the federal government from requiring some corporations to provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans.
“We need to know as Americans and as Wisconsinites that in the Supreme Court, everyone’s rights matter,” Dye said.
Riemer encouraged citizens to reach out to their U.S. senators and make their opinions heard.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, said in an interview she would oppose Gorsuch based on a record that is not “mainstream,” specifically concerning disabled students, workers and women’s reproductive rights.
Conversely, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, supported Gorsuch in a statement in January, commending his “fidelity to the Constitution and integrity to apply the law as a judge, not a superlegislator.”
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, one of the state’s largest business associations, said in a statement Monday it supports Gorsuch as an ideal candidate.
“We commend President Trump for choosing a nominee to the court that has shown judicial restraint and a strict adherence to the principles of the Constitution throughout his career,” WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer said in the statement.