Judge Neil Gorsuch is smart, diligent, affable but fatally flawed as a candidate for the United States Supreme Court.
Gorsuch, a product of Colorado and veteran of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, has long been an articulate jurist and self-proclaimed proponent of helping the law speak for itself. Yet, he misunderstands the Constitution’s driving force about religion, that to protect our “freedom of,” we must first protect our “freedom from.”
We do not doubt his command of the law and language to make his case. But it’s that very eloquence that betrays his insistence that nothing weighs on his judgment other than the practical nature of the law. On the bench, Gorsuch wrongly allows the courts to protect the religious freedom of one citizen by denying the same rights of another. The most egregious example came in 2013 Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius ruling.
That’s the landmark case trumped by conservatives that says, in certain cases, corporations can violate the rights and privileges of others if owners feel their religious freedoms are infringed upon. In the case of Hobby Lobby, owners David and Barbara Green objected to paying for employee health insurance that provided benefits for birth control, a component of Obamacare. Using some commonly accepted methods of birth control offended the religious sensibilities of the Greens. So they sued, and they won.