March 17, 2017 / Press Releases

SCOTUS Hearing: Gorsuch Must Declare Stance on Money in Politics

Senators must ask, Gorsuch must answer whether he will put big donors ahead of American families

Gorsuch’s record indicates that he will allow corporate special interests to spend unlimited money to buy influence in Washington

End Citizens United is calling on Judge Neil Gorsuch to answer questions about money in politics at his Senate hearing on Monday.  Senators on the Judiciary Committee must highlight his record and press him to answer critical questions to determine whether he favors mega-donors and corporate special interests over American families.  Unless he definitively speaks out against the corrosive influence money has on our political system, he should not have a seat on the nation’s highest court.

“An overwhelming majority of Americans – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – oppose letting corporations and special interests use money to gain political influence and drown out the voices of individual Americans,” said Tiffany Muller, Executive Director of End Citizens United.  “Judge Gorsuch appears to be out of touch with the rest of the country, and it’s time he provides some answers.  Americans don’t want an extreme Court that will protect a rigged system in Washington.  That’s why our members are speaking out and sending a message to their senators: No Corporate Court.”

Gorsuch’s record suggests that, if confirmed, he would side with corporate interests over the needs of everyday Americans.  In the Hobby Lobby case, he supported a ruling which held that corporations are “persons.”  Equating corporations to people in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision led to an avalanche of unlimited and anonymous spending in our elections.  In Riddle v. Hickenlooper, Gorsuch’s opinion suggested a desire to give unprecedented constitutional protections to political contributions — which would throw out our last remaining limits on the mega-donors who are trying to buy our elections.

Gorsuch has been publicly mum since President Trump nominated him.  On Monday, the American public will be watching, and senators must push him to answer questions on an issue that is fundamental to the health of our democracy.

Questions that would determine whether Gorsuch is willing to stand with Americans include:

  • Do you agree that wealthy donors translating their massive economic power directly into political influence is a problem? Should it be taken into account when considering rules governing spending on elections?

  • Can the outside spending of millions of dollars from mega-donors and through groups like Super PACs to elect candidates lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption?

  • Congress has passed common-sense bipartisan limits on campaign contributions, which the Supreme Court has undermined. Do you support the Court’s precedents?

  • Should corporations have the same rights as real people to make contributions directly to candidates?  Should those contributions be unlimited?

Without receiving concrete assurances that he believes the Constitution protects the rights of every American, and not just powerful special interests, the Senate should vote to reject Judge Gorsuch.

Over the last month, End Citizens United’s grassroots network has mobilized in opposition to Gorsuch.  The group has launched a nationwide ‘call your senator’ campaign; created a hub where members can take action at RejectGorsuch.com;  joined The People’s Defense, a coalition of some of the largest grassroots groups in the country to unite efforts to oppose him, and delivered a petition with more than 1 million signatures to every Senate office.

End Citizens United was established in March 2015 to counter the disastrous effects of the Citizens United decision and to work toward the reform of our campaign finance system.

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End Citizens United, Nation's Largest Grassroots Groups Join Together To Launch “The People’s Defense” To Defeat Gorsuch