So far, Trump’s cabinet has been nothing short of a disaster. Betsy DeVos is by far the most unqualified person to ever hold the position of Secretary of Education. She’s a billionaire with no background in education and doesn’t believe in public education. What could go wrong? The Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions hours ago. He was deemed too racist to be a federal judge decades ago, but now he’s in charge of the Justice Department. What could go wrong? The only bright spot in his confirmation is that Mitch McConnell again showed his true colors by stating, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nonetheless, she persisted.” This quote definitely shows his misogynist nature. I doubt she would have been censured during the hearing had she not been a woman. We could go on and on talking about the cabinet. The appointments have been disaster after disaster. But, how big of a disaster is Trump’s Supreme Court nomination?
I don’t like the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. I don’t like his rulings on money in politics. He seems to believe that money is speech. I don’t like his opinions on “freedom of religion.” He favored Hobby Lobby in their employee contraception case. I don’t like his opinions on the death penalty. He favored allowing Oklahoma to continue using the lethal injection drugs that had previously caused botched executions. There are indications that he won’t be good for the LGBT community. He stated that liberals circumvent the democratic process in matters such as gay marriage.
With so many factors working against Gorsuch, why do I have a glimmer of hope about his nomination? First of all, it is a very small glimmer of hope. In the last few days, Gorsuch has stated that Trump’s attacks on judges are both “demoralizing” and “disheartening.” If Trump has shown us anything about himself, it’s that he lacks a fundamental understanding of the way U.S. government works. He doesn’t understand the roles of the three branches of government and the need for an independent judiciary. The fact that Gorsuch would say this about Trump so soon after his nomination seems to indicate that he may not be in Trump’s pocket. It may seem like a small thing in which to find hope, but we should look for even the smallest of silver linings during these times.
In the extreme right, evangelical wing of the party, there are concerns about his religion. I make no bones about the fact that I have absolutely no respect for the American Family Association. In my opinion, they are one of the most dangerous Christian organizations in the country. They are rightfully labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of the lies and propaganda they promote. If there is one group that makes me fear for the soul of evangelical Christianity, especially in the South, it’s the American Family Association.
What are they saying about Gorsuch? The American Family Association’s radio show host Bryan Fischer has a big problem with Gorsuch because he is an Episcopalian. According to Fischer, he goes to a church that is pro-gay, pro-Muslim, pro-environment, and has a female pastor. He is further agitated by the fact that he is an usher at the church. To me, a pro-gay, pro-Muslim, pro-environment church with a female pastor sounds like a great church. In fact, I think I go to one. (I’m an usher there too!) Fischer worries that the church may have an effect on Gorsuch’s worldview and that it may cause him to give into the “gay Gestapo,” as he calls it. I certainly hope he’s right.
To summarize, there are a lot of negatives about Neil Gorsuch. Overall, I’m not happy about his nomination and have serious concerns. I’m concerned about his previous opinions on important issues. Of course, the LGBT issue is and always will always be of central concern to me. There are legions of better choices. However, with Trump at the helm, it’s probably the best pick we liberals could hope for.