On Wednesday, Sen Tim Kaine, D-Va., falsely accused Judge Neil Gorsuch of calling contraception “wrongdoing” in a statement he released expressing his opposition to Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
“After meeting with Judge Gorsuch and reviewing his testimony and past decisions, I’ve observed that he has repeatedly taken an activist approach to cases involving a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health. He has made the astounding argument that bosses have an individual right to prevent their company’s female employees from using their own health insurance to buy contraception. He has taken extraordinary steps to force reconsideration of rulings that preserve access to reproductive health. And he has cavalierly referred to contraceptive use as ‘the wrongdoing of others.’ More than sixty percent of American women of childbearing age use contraception and the right to do so has been constitutionally protected for more than fifty years,” Kaine said.
“Judge Gorsuch unquestionably has an impressive professional and educational background, but a nominee to the Supreme Court must also demonstrate sound judicial philosophy. Judge Gorsuch’s selective activism in restricting women’s rights and his framing of women making their own health decisions as ‘the wrongdoing of others’ are jarring and do not demonstrate a philosophy that belongs on the Supreme Court. I will oppose his nomination,” Kaine added.
But, the Washington Free Beacon said, Kaine took Gorsuch out of context. While he did use the phrase, “the wrongdoing of others,” in his ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, he was not referring to contraception. Instead, Alex Griswold said, he “used the term in his introduction, which was a broad summary of the greater issues at stake.”
Here’s what Gorsuch wrote:
All of us face the problem of complicity. All of us must answer for ourselves whether and to what degree we are willing to be involved in the wrongdoing of others. For some, religion provides an essential source of guidance both about what constitutes wrongful conduct and the degree to which those who assist others in committing wrongful conduct themselves bear moral culpability. The Green family members are among those who seek guidance from their faith on these questions. Understanding that is the key to understanding this case.
As anyone with a grade-school education and a working knowledge of English can tell, Gorsuch was not referring to contraception.
The Free Beacon added:
Gorsuch noted that Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family, saw contraception as wrongdoing; he did not say that it was his view that contraception was wrongdoing.
“No doubt, the Greens’ religious convictions are contestable. Some may even find the Greens’ beliefs offensive. But no one disputes that they are sincerely held religious beliefs,” Gorsuch wrote.
The majority opinion—which was not written by Gorsuch—used similar language when summarizing the Supreme Court’s precedent in Lee v. United States (emphasis added).
The Court first identified the religious belief at issue, namely, that “it [is] sinful [for the Amish] not to provide for their own elderly and needy,” and it is concomitantly sinful to pay into the social security system and thereby enable other Amish to shirk their duties toward the elderly and needy. Thus, the belief at issue in Lee turned in part on a concern of facilitating others’ wrongdoing.
Presumably, the non-Amish judges in the majority were not saying that accepting Social Security benefits was “wrongdoing.” Like Gorsuch, they were summarizing the petitioner’s beliefs.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch also called Kaine’s accusation a “smear” in an op-ed published on Wednesday (Emphasis added):
Kaine’s statement announcing his decision focuses on a single issue: reproductive rights. In it, he says Gorsuch “has cavalierly referred to contraceptive use as ‘the wrongdoing of others.’ ” Then he repeats the point, claiming that Gorsuch has framed “women making their own health decisions as ‘the wrongdoing of others.’ ”
This is simply false. And Kaine should know it.
Of course, Kaine knows it’s false. But facts mean nothing to Democrats these days — only the agenda.
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- Feinstein worried Gorsuch would abide by Constitution as written, cites women burned at stake for witchcraft
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- Story that Gorsuch was leader of ‘Fascism Forever’ club debunked as ‘false’
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