Neil Gorsuch's journey to the Supreme Court is nearly finished. His confirmation hearings, which Senate Democrats are using to grill Gorsuch on his past records and statements, are turning up very little to contest. The one part of Neil Gorsuch’s hearing that parents need to be aware of, however, has to do with employers' influence on family planning. The position Gorsuch presented in Tuesday's hearing appears to be completely different from the one presented in previous allegations, and many are therefore wondering which viewpoint is truthful. Romper has reached out to Gorsuch for comment but has not yet heard back.
Gorsuch was quizzed on these allegations on Tuesday. Sen. Richard Durbin asked him, point-blank, if Gorsuch "ask[ed his] students in class that day to raise their hands if they knew of a woman who had taken maternity benefits from a company and then left the company after having a baby?" These allegations were written in a signed letter, one that quotes Gorsuch claiming that "many women do this." The letter accusing Gorsuch of making the aforementioned claims was followed up by another letter from a different former student, who insisted that the statements were mischaracterized and taken out of context.
Regardless, Gorsuch firmly responded to the inquiry with a "no," instead insisting that he asked: "How many of you have had questions like this asked in the employment environment, an inappropriate question about your family planning?" He continued to elaborate on his version of the situation as well as the gender issues at play, telling Durbin: "I am shocked every year, senator, how many young women raise their hand. It's disturbing to me."
You can watch Gorsuch's explanation below:
If Gorsuch's statements are sincere, then the fact that he finds employers' inappropriate family planning prodding to be "disturbing" is definitely good news for parents. Worrying about job security conflicting with the want to start a family is a very real concern, for moms and dads alike. Having a Supreme Court Justice who supports withholding that information in the workplace could be a huge win for families who don't want to choose between children and careers.
This hearing accounts for the first time that Gorsuch has addressed these allegations in public, and though he opted for a pragmatic rather than personal response, the policies he promises to support would actually benefit working families, not hurt them. On the other hand, if the statements alleged in the Gorsuch letter are true, and Gorsuch believes that women manipulate maternity leave for personal gain, his bias is a dangerous addition to the Supreme Court.