4 things healthcare leaders should know about Trump's Supreme Court nominee

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President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, PhD, a judge in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado, to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Here are four things to know about President Trump's pick and his views on healthcare.

1. Judge Gorsuch, if confirmed, is expected to restore a slightly conservative lean to the Supreme Court. The court currently has four liberal-leaning justices, three conservative-leaning judges and Justice Anthony Kennedy — who often votes right, but leans left every so often. Judge Gorsuch is expected to have a more similar voting record to the conservative Justice Scalia, according to The Washington Post. Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center told Politico Judge Gorsuch is similar to Justice Scalia in that he may side with liberal justices "when he thinks the history or text of the Constitution or the law require it."

2. Judge Gorsuch is known for his commitment to protecting the duty of the courts to interpret the law, rather deferring to the executive branch. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Neal Katyal, an acting solicitor general during the Obama administration, wrote about the nominee, "His years on the bench reveal a commitment to judicial independence — a record that should give the American people confidence that he will not compromise principle to favor the president who appointed him."

3. He voted against the ACA's contraceptive mandate in the Hobby Lobby case. Before the case went to the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch voted on it in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He voted with the majority that the ACA's requirement for organizations to provide health insurance that includes contraceptives infringes on religious freedom. This decision was later upheld in the Supreme Court.

4. He opposes physician-assisted suicide. Judge Gorsuch so opposes physician-assisted suicide he even wrote a book about it, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, published in 2009. The book details the arguments for and against assisted suicide, before delving into an argument against intentional killing, no matter the circumstance. He does note in the book, however, that patients have the right to refuse medical treatment and life-sustaining care.

 

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