Gay Rights and Gorsuch

I don’t have cites. But these all happened recently. So look it up :slight_smile: .

On a recent gay rights issue, specifically whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to gays, the court ruled in favor of gay rights.

Interesting math on this one. Chief Justice John Roberts ruled with the majority. It actually did come up during his confirmation hearing that he once advocated for a gay group. The guy is ultra conservative. And he most definitely will overturn Roe v. Wade. But he apparently has a soft spot in his heart for gays. I will leave that one there.

But the really surprising one was President Trump’s appointment, Judge Gorsuch. He voted with Mr. Roberts!

So according to my math at least, gay rights will survive even the 6-3 conservative majority on the court. Am I wrong?

BTW Justice Roberts is opposed to gay marriage. So don’t stop worrying yet, especially if you’re gay or pro-gay rights. But apparently all is not lost.

And BTW could Gorsuch be a ‘Trojan Horse’? I mean could he be secretly a ‘liberal’ (I use that term loosely)? He was Mr. Trump’s first appointment. And President Trump hadn’t quite entered his wild and crazy phase.



Gorsuch could be a Souter type who does turn out more liberal than expected. He was a fed appeals judge for 11 years so he has a track record. Souter was mostly a judge in NH so he was not as well known. The GOP says “no more Souters”

Gorsuch is not a “Souter” type, and certainty not a secret liberal. But he is a justice who is willing to follow his “originalist” judicial philosophy wherever it takes him, even if occasionally leads to policy outcomes that may be considered more liberal. Contrast with Roberts and Kavanaugh, who are often more flexible in reaching interpretations that advance conservative positions.

But recognize that the overwhelming majority of the time Gorsuch sides with the conservatives on the Court — he just sometimes takes a different path to get there.

IMHO he is the new swing justice, assuming ACB is confirmed.

ETA. I’m hoping he ends up as a Souter type, but I also think it’s unlikely.

Yes, Gorsuch believes in following earlier decisions, and a strict view of the Constitution. He really wasnt a bad choice. I kinda like him.

Roberts is by no means “ultra conservative” and I doubt if either he or Gorsuch will overturn Roe. They will just allow the anti-abortionists to nibble away at it.

Between Gorsuch’s majority opinion on employment discrimination and Title VII finding that gender identity and sexual orientation are protected under the classification of sex, John Roberts siding with the majority in that case, and both men appearing to have some respect for stare decisis (Roberts concurring with the majority in June Medical Services v Russo due specifically to respect for a recent prior case while still arguing that case was wrongly decided), I think both the Title VII and Obergefell cases are probably safe from being overturned, even if ACB is confirmed. At least, I hope they are.

I don’t think it’s correct to say that Gorsuch feels any particular respect for stare decisis. He identifies himself as an “originalist” – i.e. that the meaning of the Constitution is fixed and any interpretation must be rooted in the understandings of the authors at the time. He has no problem casting aside precedents that he feels does not follow this concept.

Lots of Federalist Society judges call themselves originalists and textualists, what’s more unique about Gorsuch is he’s a true believer. Sometimes that lead to decisions like Bostock v. Clayton County and McGirt v Oklahoma where he comes down on the opposite side from the other “conservative” justices. Much more often it leads him to join with them in cases such as upholding the travel ban, permitting spending to be redirected to the border wall, allowing employers to refuse to cover contraception, requiring state school voucher programs to include religious schools, ending DACA, adding a citizenship question to the Census, and allowing the Administration to ban transgendered people from the military.

And anyone who thinks he would hesitate to overturn Roe is fooling themselves. Roe is an almost textbook affront to an originalist’s interpretation of the Constitution.

I’m not sure I’d go all the way to “like” but he strikes me as a solid jurist. Yes, he’s conservative and will have a conservative take on things, but unlike his junior colleague or the current SCOTUS nominee he doesn’t appear to be pursuing a blatantly partisan agenda.

And Roe has always been a bit wobbly (in my decidedly inexpert opinion) so it wouldn’t surprise me if if was overturned at some point. One would hope that the pro-choice side has a better plan in their pocket for this eventuality than the pro-life side clearly does.