President Trump has named social conservative Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the US Supreme Court.
Many Christians had expressed hope that a pro-life and pro-religious liberty judge would be chosen to maintain a balance in the US Supreme Court.
If Gorsuch is appointed, he will replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year.
Until last year, the US Supreme Court was presided over by four socially liberal Justices, four socially conservative Justices – including Justice Scalia – and Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is considered to hold a swing vote.
Gorsuch has served on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, when he was unanimously approved for the role.
Widely described as having “impeccable legal credentials”, he has spoken favourably in cases involving religious liberty and the sanctity of life.
He sided with Christian-run company Hobby Lobby when it objected to Obamacare – a law forcing it to provide health insurance covering abortion-inducing drugs. And last year, he supported Utah Governor Gary Herbert when he sought to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
Gorsuch has also defended the conscience rights of Christian doctors when they were asked to participate in abortions in hospital, and voiced strong opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia.
An extract from his book ‘The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia’ says that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong”.
The book also contains a section on the infamous Roe v Wade case where Gorsuch states that there is “no constitutional basis” for giving a mother more rights than her unborn child.
He has criticised attempts by liberals to advance their policy goals, such as homosexual marriage, through the courts instead of the political process.
In 2005 he wrote: “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.
“This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary”.
’Force for good’
Director of The Christian Institute Colin Hart said: “People are aware of the serious moral failings in President Trump’s personal life.
“However, we must also recognise when he does something right. In nominating Neil Gorsuch for this position, he could restore a much-needed balance to the most powerful court in the US.
“Should Gorsuch be ratified by the Senate, we hope that he will be a force for good in the Supreme Court and that he will continue to speak up for religious liberty and the sanctity of all human life.”
To be appointed as Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement, Neil Gorsuch will have to be voted in by the US Senate. Democrats have indicated that they will attempt to block his appointment.