By Serena Miezientseva
Some say Judge Neil Gorsuch is likely to rule in favor of religious freedom on the U.S. Supreme Court, due to his stances on Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, for which Gorsuch heard arguments on April 19. Results are still forthcoming.
In the highly publicized Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius case, Gorsuch concurred in favor of Hobby Lobby’s right to refuse certain contraceptives to employees, on the grounds the ACA was forcing the Greens to choose between exercising their religion or saving their business, according to Ballotpedia.org.
“All of us face the problem of complicity,” Gorsuch stated in his concurrence. “All of us must answer for ourselves whether and to what degree we are willing to be involved in the wrongdoing of others.”
The Greens maintained their faith prevented them from personal involvement in giving access to devices which destroy a fertilized human egg, according to Gorsuch.
In American Atheists vs. Davenport, a three-judge panel ruled memorial crosses built along public roads in Utah were government endorsements of Christianity. Gorsuch disagreed, saying their argument relied on hypothetical perceptions of the crosses, which created a problem out of nothing, according to Politico.com.
“I am struck by Judge Gorsuch’s integrity, kindness and fairness,” said Dayna Bowen Matthew, a University of Colorado Law School professor, to the Christian Post. “I saw a meticulous respect for the contrary views of others in his scholarly writing, and yet I have long admired the genuine strength of Judge Gorsuch’s deep convictions, which he holds without a hint of being an ideologue.”
Gorsuch believes it is not the court’s job to tell people what their religious beliefs are, as he stated in his dissension to the court’s ruling on Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Burwell.
“All the plaintiffs in this case sincerely believe that they will be violating God’s law if they execute the documents required by the government,” Gorsuch stated. “I am aware of no precedent holding that a person’s free exercise was not substantially burdened when a significant penalty was imposed for refusing to do something prohibited by the person’s sincere religious beliefs, however strange, or even silly, the court may consider those beliefs.”
President Donald Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch to be the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on April 10, 2017. Gorsuch grew up Catholic, and has attended a Protestant church for years, according to the Washington Post.