At the time, the Supreme Court nominee said that the Obama Administration was getting in the way of their right to exercise their religious views and opposition to abortion. Gorsuch outlined a broad definition of religious freedom that could point to how he would rule in similar cases regarding abortion if confirmed by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ultimately sided with Hobby Lobby and the Court ruled that companies like it can be exempt from the Obama abortion mandate. Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in 2013, writing, “The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.”
Today, Judge Gorsich said that his job was to correctly apply the law.
“Opponents of your nomination do not like this result,” pro-life Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told Gorsuch. “They accuse you of being anti-woman. That, of course, isn’t true at all and any fair person would have to conclude it’s not true. Your critics simply demand that, as a judge, you must follow their political priorities that availability of birth control is more important than religious freedom.”
“I have two questions about your decision,” Hatch said. “Isn’t that really a policy dispute that should be addressed by Congress, and was your job on these cases to impose your or anyone else’s priorities or to interpret and apply those statutes the way Congress enacted them?”Gorsuch responded, according to a transcript of the remarks:
“Senator, our job there was to apply the statute as best we could understand its purpose as expressed in its text. And I think every judge who faced that case – everyone – found it a hard case and did their level best. And that’s all any judge can promise or guarantee. I respect all of my colleagues who addressed that case.”