A female former-law student of Neil Gorsuch has revealed that in class Gorsuch endorsed illegal discrimination against women in the workplace. Gorsuch is now President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court and the vote for his confirmation is expected this week.
Attorney Jennifer Sisk sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) accusing Gorsuch of promoting discrimination in the class she took with him at University of Colorado’s law school.
[Gorsuch] asked the class to raise their hands if they knew of a female who had used a company to get maternity benefits and then left right after having a baby. Judge Gorsuch specifically targeted females and maternity leave. This question was not about parents or men shifting priorities after having children. It was solely focused on women using their companies.
I do not remember if any students raised their hands, but it was no more than a small handful of students. At that point, Judge Gorsuch became more animated saying “C’mon guys.” He then announced that all our hands should be raised because “many” women use their companies for maternity benefits and then leave the company after the baby is born.
This is a disturbing attitude towards women in the workplace. Women advocate for maternity leave precisely so that they can keep their jobs after pregnancy. Without leave recognized by their employer, they are often forced to walk away from their career in order to provide basic care for their children.
This is a horrifically outdated view of the role of women in society. Yes, women have babies, and the workplace should accommodate that fact of life. Employers, and certainly law scholars, should recognize that mothers can be valuable assets for a company and deserve equal protection under the law during hiring, regardless.
And yet, Gorsuch believes that his fantasy about women abusing maternity leave supports a dire conclusion: hiring discrimination.
[Gorsuch] argued that because many women left their companies we all knew women who purposefully used their companies. … [He also] outlined how law firms, and companies in general, had to ask female interviewees about pregnancy plans in order to protect the company.
Maternity leave is a tool that employers can use to ensure that they do not lose valuable women from their workforce, and it should be seen that way. Promoting false stereotypes about women as flaky employees who want to snatch money from firms and then go live the rest of their lives barefoot in the kitchen is outrageous.
If these allegations are correct, Gorsuch must not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
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Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.