Shaheen, Hassan plan to oppose Supreme Court justice nominee Gorsuch

  • Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen speaks to reporters outside the federal courthouse Wednesday March 30, 2016, in Concord, N.H., about the need to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) AP

  • Maggie Hassan AP

Monitor staff
Published: 3/29/2017 12:22:26 AM

New Hampshire’s two Democratic senators have said they plan to oppose President Donald Trump’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court.

In separate statements released Tuesday, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan said they cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch, citing concerns with his voting record on women’s reproductive rights and siding with corporations on high-profile cases.

Gorsuch’s record includes decisions on the Hobby Lobby case, where he opined that private corporations shouldn’t have to pay for an employee’s contraceptive coverage if it goes against their religious beliefs.

Both senators also said they are concerned Gorsuch could vote to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that allows women to get legal abortions.

“His record on women’s reproductive rights is very troubling and, despite the many questions raised to him during his nomination hearing, he did not provide any assurances that he would defend the important precedent of Roe v. Wade,” Shaheen wrote.

Hassan wrote that while she believes Gorsuch is a man of “great integrity in his personal life,” she is concerned about opinions in the Hobby Lobby case as well as “the case of the frozen trucker,” where Gorsuch wrote a dissenting opinion in the case of a Detroit trucker named Alphonse Maddin who was fired by his company after temporarily abandoning his trailer in subzero temperatures when he started to get hypothermia waiting for a repairman to arrive.

Maddin sued for damages after the firing, using a law that protects truckers who refuse to drive in dangerous conditions; but Gorsuch argued the trucker’s interpretation of the law was too broad.

Hassan said she disagreed with Gorsuch’s dissent – the only one out of seven judges who heard the case.

“His record demonstrates that he has too often shown a disregard for the impact that his decisions have on the lives of real Americans, consistently putting big corporations before the rights and liberties of hard-working people and families,” Hassan wrote in a letter explaining her decision.

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