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Neil Gorsuch on Civil Rights

 

 


Desegregation lawsuits won critical civil-rights victories

There's no doubt that constitutional lawsuits have secured critical civil-rights victories, with the desegregation cases culminating in Brown v. Board of Education topping the list. But relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box [is dangerous] as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education. This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary. In the legislative arena, especially when the country is closely divided, compromises tend to be the rule the day. But when judges rule this or that policy unconstitutional, there's little room for compromise: One side must win, the other must lose. In constitutional litigation, too, experiments and pilot programs--real-world laboratories in which ideas can be assessed on the results they produce--are not possible.
Source: National Review column by Neil Gorsuch , Feb 7, 2005

Gay marriage might win lawsuits but loses at ballot box

The Left's alliance with trial lawyers and its dependence on constitutional litigation to achieve its social goals risks political atrophy. Liberals may win a victory on gay marriage when preaching to the choir before like-minded judges in Massachusetts. But in failing to reach out and persuade the public generally, they invite exactly the sort of backlash we saw in November when gay marriage was rejected in all eleven states where it was on the ballot.

During the New Deal, liberals recognized that the ballot box and elected branches are generally the appropriate engines of social reform, and liberals used both to spectacular effect--instituting profound social changes that remain deeply ingrained in society today.

Source: National Review column by Neil Gorsuch , Feb 7, 2005

Other Justices on Civil Rights: Neil Gorsuch on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(since 1993)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Anthony Kennedy(since 1988)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Sep 21, 2020