Date: February 2, 2017
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mat Staver
Listen: MP3 | Order
Mat Staver is a constitutional attorney, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.
Who is Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court candidate picked by President Donald Trump to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia?
Judge Gorsuch is 49 years old therefore, if nominated, could spend many years on the Supreme Court. His undergraduate work was undertaken at Columbia University, his law doctorate was obtained through Harvard and he pursued a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University.
He studied under one of the world’s leading experts on natural law and wrote a book on assisted suicide called, ‘The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia’. Natural law teaches that in the natural order there are certain immutable principles that precede government. Such principles include life and marriage as they are part of the natural created order.
Judge Gorsuch has worked in private practice and has clerked in a number of courts of appeals including at the Supreme Court level.
Mat highlighted a quote from the judge’s book. The context of the quote is from the euthanasia (end-of-life) perspective. However, Mat pointed out that since human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable and the intentional taking of that life by private persons is wrong, this principle not only applies to the end-of-life, but also applies to the beginning of life. So overall, Judge Gorsuch has strong, foundational principles that hold the sanctity of human life very high.
Mat described him as having a strong position concerning the role of judges. He’s an originalist. This means that he looks at the original intent, language and words of the Constitution or the statute that’s being reviewed and feels bound by that.
Concerning religious liberty, Mat talked about the collision between the abortion mandate of Obamacare on either for-profit companies or not-for-profit ministries. In the Hobby Lobby case Judge Gorsuch cited with Hobby Lobby saying that there is a religious free exercise right of the company even though it was a corporation. The Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, ultimately upheld that.
On the Little Sisters of the Poor case, it’s still going back and forth among the various courts but he sided with the Little Sisters ministry. They had the same objection as Hobby Lobby to having abortion drugs and devices provided via insurance to their employees.
Regarding Planned Parenthood he sided with the state of Utah. The court itself didn’t go that way, so he was a dissenter. He felt that Utah has a right to defund Planned Parenthood.
He’s also written on cases regarding search and seizure where he’s communicated that proper interpretation of the 4th Amendment starts with it’s ‘original public meaning’.
This program also looks at the judge’s views on LGBT matters; the claim that this opening was a stolen position; why there’s opposition to his nomination when there was none when he was confirmed to the 10th Circuit Court; will the ‘nuclear option’ be necessary; will President Trump do away with the Johnson Amendment; the latest on Senator Sessions; the continuing of President Obama’s LGBT executive order and much more.