Judge Gorsuch was involved in a couple of recent issues that the Democrats will bring up in the confirmation hearings, as Ramesh Ponnoru wrote:
In two high-profile religious-liberty cases, Gorsuch voted to hold that the Obama administration had violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by refusing to exempt religious employers from a requirement to cover contraceptives in their insurance plans. In neither case, though, will it be easy for opponents to portray his decisions as evidence of social-conservative zealotry.He concurred in a decision freeing the Hobby Lobby chain from the contraceptive mandate. Its Evangelical owners considered some of the contraceptives they were forced to cover to be abortifacients and objected to them for that reason. A narrow 5–4 majority of the Supreme Court affirmed that decision.Gorsuch joined a dissent arguing that the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns, had shown that the Obama administration’s fines for noncompliance with the mandate amounted to a substantial burden on the exercise of their faith — one of the preconditions for getting protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Supreme Court unanimously vacated the decision from which Gorsuch had dissented. Gorsuch’s solicitude for religious liberty has not been confined to cases involving abortion, contraception, or conservative Christians.In the less well-known Yellowbear v. Lampert, Gorsuch ruled that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act meant that a Native American prisoner had to have access to his prison’s sweat lodge.
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