Anita Hill discusses judicial record of Supreme Court nominee
On Feb. 1, President Donald Trump made one of the most-anticipated announcements of his new presidency when he named Neil M. Gorsuch, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, as his nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia a year ago. Senate Republicans did not hold hearings on former President Barack Obama’s pick for the seat, Judge Merrick Garland, whose nomination expired after languishing for 293 days – eclipsing the time it took Louis D. Brandeis to be confirmed.
With that backdrop, Gorsuch’s nomination is surrounded by questions of what the Senate Democrats may do – and what sort of justice he will be if his nomination is approved. University Professor Anita Hill, professor of social policy, law, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, spoke with BrandeisNOW about the impact Gorsuch could have on the court and the country.
Judge Gorsuch has a lengthy judicial record from his years on the federal bench. What about that record stands out to you most in terms of how he is likely to rule on cases that come before him on the Supreme Court?
There is a group of appellate cases from 2009 to 2016, where Justice Gorsuch has been in the dissent in some really important decisions involving workers’ rights. One was a Department of Labor fine against a company whose failure to train a worker resulted in the worker’s death. He dissented in a case where the National Labor Relations Board awarded back wages because a company had underpaid the worker. He also dissented in a Title VII case, a sex discrimination case brought by a female UPS driver whose colleagues testified that she was treated differently than male peers.