press release


News from Progress Michigan

February 1, 2017

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Michigan Leaders: Senators Stabenow and Peters Must Reject Gorsuch

Organizers and advocates have grave concerns about Trump’s pick for SCOTUS

MICHIGAN — In response to Donald Trump’s selection of Neal Gorsuch as his nominee for the United States Supreme Court, advocates and organizers from around Michigan held a press call today to call on Michigan’s US Senators to reject the nomination. Trump’s selection poses a unique threat to civil rights and voting rights in addition to the rights of women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and working families.

“In his inaugural address, Donald Trump promised he would fight for American workers who’ve been left behind. But by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump has made it crystal clear that he is not on the side of working families,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “We need a Supreme Court Justice who is open-minded, fair, and impartial. One who is guided by the Constitution and the law instead of his own political agenda. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Judge Gorsuch does not meet that standard. He has spent his entire career protecting the wealthy and the powerful at the expense of regular working people.”

“The fact that Donald Trump may have indicated in interviews or tweeted that he has no plans to retract the progress made on LGBTQ rights is irrelevant,” said Dana Nessel, president of Fair Michigan, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of women and the LGBT community. Nessel was also the lead attorney for the precedent-setting DeBoer v. Snyder case in 2015 that ruled on marriage equality and adoption for same-sex couples. “It doesn’t matter what Trump says, by nominating someone like Gorsuch to the bench, Trump is opening the door to legal challenges from conservative organizations, like the National Organization for Marriage, or the Heritage Foundation, who will be chomping at the bit to mount legal challenges to the fragile progress we’ve made for the LGBT community. A conservative court like the one we’re set up to see would surely give them the opening they want.”

“There are important cases that relate to federal rules protecting against mercury and other toxic air pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants that are in the federal appellate courts right now and could go before the Supreme Court,” said Clay Carpenter, program officer with Clean Water Action Michigan. “President Trump has built a cabinet of industry insiders and corporate titans to populate an executive branch that will rig the system for the powerful and against the people. It’s clear he will do the same to the judicial branch. President Trump has called for bringing back outdated, dirty and expensive coal to the energy sector and has already signed an executive order to gut regulations across the board, which will likely include water, air, and public health safeguards. Based on what we’ve seen from the president in his first few weeks in office, we’ve got serious concerns about how his administration plans on keeping our communities healthy, our Great Lakes protected and those concerns continue with this Supreme Court nominee.”

“Let’s be clear: opposition to Roe v Wade is a disqualifier. Neil Gorsuch has an alarming history of interfering with reproductive rights and health,” said Ruth Lednicer, communications director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. “We call on every United States Senator to uphold a fundamental standard: if you oppose Roe v Wade and women’s access to basic health care, you are not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.”

“Trump’s first few weeks in office have showed us what type of president he will be and for many in Michigan and across the country it’s been a disaster,” said Hugh Madden, communications director at Progress Michigan. “Trump’s decision to nominate Neal Gorsuch is a continuation of what we’ve seen from his administration thus far: regressive policies that work on behalf of the wealthy, but not for everyone else. We have grave concerns about this nomination and we ask that Michigan’s Senators and their colleagues in the Senate oppose this nomination at every step of the process.”

For a complete recording of the press call featuring full statements from the above speakers, please email


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