Washington, DC– The Secular Coalition for America has released the following statement in response to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Statement by Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America

“The nomination of Judge Gorsuch by President Trump signals a clear intent by the Administration to shape the nation’s highest court in an ideological fashion that threatens religious liberty and pushes an agenda at odds with the majority of Americans. Prior to making its way to the Supreme Court, the case of Hobby Lobby v. Burwell was brought before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Gorsuch ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, asserting that business owners with sincerely held religious beliefs could deny their employees access to healthcare benefits they were guaranteed by law under the Affordable Care Act. The result of the Hobby Lobby decision has been disastrous, granting business owners an unprecedented power to impose their personal beliefs on employees and setting a dangerous legal precedent that elevates religious belief above the law.

In the case of Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, a Catholic nonprofit claimed that even requesting a religious exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services infringed on their religious freedom. The 10th Circuit Court denied the Little Sister’s a hearing but Gorsuch dissented in an opinion which predicted that ‘the doctrine of the panel majority will not long survive.’ If appointed to the Supreme Court, Gorsuch may fulfill his own prophecy. It is imperative that the Supreme Court safeguard the secular character of our government by ensuring that religious freedom is used to protect, not impose, belief on others. Given his past decisions, we are greatly concerned that Justice Gorsuch is not up to this task.”

Contact: Casey Brescia, [email protected], (845)-380-620

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The Secular Coalition for America is the nation’s premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 19 voting member organizations.