- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2017

The pro-life movement is advocating the swift confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, calling the federal appellate judge a “defender of the most basic human rights” and a legal theorist “reminiscent of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Sixty national and state pro-life organizations sent a letter to the Senate on Monday to mark the beginning of the confirmation hearings.

“Judge Gorsuch is widely recognized as a jurist possessed of deep intelligence and true fairmindedness,” the letter read. “In 2006 the U.S. Senate recognized these qualities, confirming Gorsuch without dissent to his current position on the 10th Circuit. After a decade of constitutionally sound and clearly written rulings and opinions, Judge Gorsuch deserves once again the swift approval of the Senate.”

The letter was spearheaded by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and signed by representatives from Live Action, Students for Life and the Family Research Council.

It cites Judge Gorsuch’s record on religious liberty, including his decisions siding with Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

“Many of our organizations applauded Judge Gorsuch when he evinced a keen understanding and respect for religious liberty in cases involving Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, concluding that application of the Affordable Care Act’s preventive service mandate, coupled with massive fines on religious objectors to elements of the mandate, substantially burdens religious liberty,” the letter read.

The pro-life groups also praise a dissent in which Judge Gorsuch said the governor of Utah was within his rights to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Gorsuch faulted the 10th Circuit majority for failing to follow the appropriate standard of review and the customary deference to the factual findings of the court below,” the letter read.

Although Judge Gorsuch’s jurisprudence on the question of abortion is scarce, the letter highlighted his personal views on physician-assisted suicide as a proxy.

“Outside of the judicial context, Neil Gorsuch has proven himself to be a defender of the most basic human rights,” the letter read. “He argues in his widely praised book, ‘The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,’ that ‘human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable’ and that ‘the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.’”

The letter comes after weeks of advocacy from the pro-life movement in favor of Judge Gorsuch.

Activists held rallies and press conferences in red states where Senate Democrats are up for re-election, urging them to vote to confirm Judge Gorsuch in order to save their seats.

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