Federal Courts and Nominations

Protesters Target Gorsuch For Participation In Event At Trump Hotel

By Randy DeSoto

Protesters voiced their opposition to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch delivering an address to a conservative group at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Gorsuch spoke at The Fund for American Studies “Defending Freedom Luncheon,” which commemorated the group’s 50th anniversary.

TFAS, founded by the late William F. Buckley, sponsors student programs for aspiring policy makers, journalists and lawyers “to win over each new generation to the ideas of liberty, limited government and free markets,” according to the group’s website.

The protesters did not seem to be as concerned about Gorsuch’s participation in the event itself as much as the venue.

Liberal groups — including NARAL ProChoice America, People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood — complained the justice’s attendance was financially benefiting Trump.

“To the public the Trump Hotel appears simply as what it is: a paid gateway to presidential influence that operates under the color of presidential approval,” representatives from these groups among others wrote in a joint letter to Chief Justice John Roberts, urging that an ethical review be conducted.

“Justice Gorsuch, in accepting an invitation to keynote an event, shows disregard for the court’s ethical standards and traditions, for its sacred reputation, and, bluntly, for basic common sense.”

Additionally, Elizabeth Wydra, the president of the nonprofit think tank the Constitutional Accountability Center, told NPR that Gorsuch is “helping a conservative organization put money into the pockets of the president who put him on the bench. And that doesn’t really give a strong sense of independence from that president.”

“Who is Gorsuch? Such a sellout!” demonstrators chanted in front of the Trump-owned hotel. Others carried signs like “Gor$uch for sale,” Politico reported. The justice did not receive a fee for his appearance and stipulated that his participation not be used to solicit donations.

A significant portion of the dozens demonstrators were wearing NARAL shirts, indicating the group, which strongly opposed Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court, organized the protest.

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