Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, says Gorsuch comes to the court as a "selective originalist — giving pride of place to certain parts of the Constitution, while giving an extremely crabbed view of the substantive fundamental rights protected, in particular, by the Constitution's later amendments, including the 14th Amendment and its broad guarantee of equality for all."
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“We’re in largely uncharted territory on that front given that past presidents have gone to great lengths to avoid the kinds of issues we’re now confronting,” said Brianne Gorod, chief counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington research organization and public advocacy law firm.
The Sessions Department of Justice is not developing a strong track record when it comes to presenting facts fairly and honestly. If it continues on this course, it will likely undermine its credibility with the judges whom it is trying to persuade. And that’s as it should be, because facts matter, whether this Administration realizes it or not.
As Brianne Gorod, chief counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington public advocacy law firm, put it to Reuters: “We’re in largely uncharted territory… given that past presidents have gone to great lengths to avoid the kinds of issues we’re now confronting.” Trump, however, appears content to sail headlong into them.
"In some ways we're still seeing a court defined by the vacancy that has been there for most of the term," said Brianne Gorod, chief counsel to the Constitutional Accountability Center. "It didn’t have the kind of blockbusters we saw over the past several terms." Gorod cautioned against calling the term a "sleeper," however. "The Supreme Court decides important cases and a number of important ones have been decided and will be decided through June."
Donald Trump won the presidency back in November, but for many liberal organizations, the battle continues. A loose network of lawyers and watchdogs has dug in to scrutinize issues involving the Trump administration's ethics and transparency.
David Gans, director of the Human Rights, Civil Rights and Citizenship Program at the Constitutional Accountability Center, said that the Supreme Court plays a key role in deciding or having the final word on the meaning of the Constitution. “Trump’s comments about the judiciary certainly evince a measure of disrespect and failure to respect that the judiciary has a fundamental role in our system, which includes telling the president, ‘This is the line, and you can’t cross it,’” Gans said.
“President Trump cannot repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by executive order,” explain Timothy Jost, JD, from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, and Simon Lazarus, JD, with the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, DC. “The ACA is a statute, enacted by Congress, which under the Constitution only Congress can repeal or modify.”
"With Justice Gorsuch on the bench, who has been fairly protective of religious liberty rights, and indeed apparently fits President Trump's litmus test of a pro-evangelical religious liberty, everybody will be looking at that case," said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the left-leaning Constitutional Accountability Center.
“Justice Gorsuch won’t have time to settle in quietly because there [are] some hot button cases that are on the court’s doorstep,” Elizabeth Wydra said.
The Constitution’s promise of religious freedom is neither an accident of history nor a footnote. Trump’s anti-Muslim travel and refugee ban defies this founding wisdom.
The Constitutional Accountability Center, a public interest think tank, filed a brief in support of the CFPB, and consumer advocacy groups and 17 state attorneys general recently vowed to defend the CFPB in court.