Strong Opposition from Latino Leaders on ‘Nuclear Option’ to Confirm Judge Gorsuch
Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary raises the importance of Latino voices and priorities in the confirmation process
Washington, DC – Today, Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ) gathered Latino leaders from across the community to share their perspective on the confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, including analysis of Senate Republicans putting into motion the “nuclear option,” a rule change that would allow the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices by a simple majority, rather than a 60 vote threshold.
“Today is a sad day for fairness,” said Hector Sanchez, Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). “The same Senators who blocked any consideration of a qualified judge, a man who was nominated a year ago to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court by a President elected by a majority of the popular vote and the Electoral College, have now changed the rules of the game. Those Senators will now install to the Supreme Court a judge with a radical agenda who will roll back the rights of people of color, women, and immigrant workers.”
Added Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), “The Supreme Court is supposed to be the location of last resort for minority, diverse, and lower income populations to petition to have their grievances heard and get redress from the ability of the majority to impose its will on the people. The situation we find ourselves in today will be particularly harmful to Latino and minority immigrant communities who are being targeted. We need the Supreme Court to be strong and to stand up for minority rights, more than ever.”
“There is no indication that Judge Gorsuch would [uphold minority rights], particularly when it comes to the Latino community, the immigrant community, and for workers, namely low-wage workers,” said Natasha Bannan, Associate Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “We see that, for example, his decisions have often dissented consistently in favor of big money and powerful special interest groups over the rights of the working class and the working poor. He has backed insurance companies, while denying disability benefits, and sided with employers discriminating against employees, whether it’s in a sex discrimination, national origin discrimination, or race discrimination case.”
“Without a doubt, Gorsuch does not stand for women’s rights,” said Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “His decade on the federal bench, as well as in his writings, make it clear that he will further marginalize those who already face barriers to their constitutional rights, such as Latinos, people of color, low-income people, LGBTQ people, and women. During his hearing, Gorsuch refused to answer critical questions on Roe v. Wade, but his hostile record on human rights and justice are enough to condemn him. His silence on Roe v. Wade is a threat to the progress we’ve made in the past decade in terms of reproductive justice for women of color, and we will fight to ensure that we will never go back.”
Thomas A. Saenz, Vice Chair of the NHLA and President and General Counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) added, “Latino population growth and the inordinate focus of the Trump Administration’s dubious policy priorities on Latinos mean that more and more Supreme Court decisions will have a direct and substantial effect on the Latino community. Gorsuch is too extreme to ensure that Latino community perspectives are considered and incorporated. Therefore, MALDEF joins our colleagues in calling upon the United States Senate to reject the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and to require President Trump to identify and nominate a more moderate and mainstream nominee to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.”
A final vote on the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch is expected to be held this Friday, April 7, 2017.
Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ) was formed in April 2005 in order to provide Hispanic leaders across the nation a platform and voice in matters related to our nation's judicial system. HFJ is an unaffiliated, non-partisan, independent network of elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, academic and political leaders who care deeply about the impact that the judiciary has on the Latino community.