Reince Priebus, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and current White House chief of staff under Donald Trump, said of Trump SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch that he “represents the type of judge that has the vision of Donald Trump.”
That certainly seems to be the case when it comes to a misogynistic vision of women, as the confirmation hearing for Gorsuch has revealed.
During an interview with Dateline NBC in 2004, Trump, who was then just a celebrity with a reality TV show famous for his claims of massive wealth, made some damning statements about women in the workplace.
‘[Pregnancy is] a wonderful thing for the woman, it’s a wonderful thing for the husband, it’s certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.’
Trump’s SCOTUS nominee thinks that the issue is more than an “inconvenience.” As one of his former law students revealed in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gorsuch told his students just last year that “many” devious women trick their employers into that “inconvenience” all the time.
The letter written by that law student, Jennifer Sisk, who also served as a staffer for Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), was published on Sunday by the National Employment Lawyers Association and the National Women’s Law Center. In it, she detailed a particular lecture by Gorsuch.
‘In our reading to prepare for class on April 19th, there was a hypothetical of a law student interviewing for law firm jobs. The female student had a large debt and wanted to work at a firm to pay back her loans. She also intended to start a family with her husband in the near future. The hypothetical raised the question of what she should tell her future employers about her plans […] At some point, Judge Gorsuch stopped his discussion about the hypothetical and work life balance in the legal profession. Instead, he asked the class to raise their hands if they knew of a female who used a company to get maternity benefits and then left right after having a baby.’
Sisk says that a few students raised their hands, at which time Gorsuch “became animated.”
‘He then announced that all our hands should be raised because “many” women used their companies for maternity benefits and then leave the company after the baby is born.’
While another student in the class disputes this version of the class discussion, Sisk says she spoke to two University of Colorado administrators regarding her concerns about Judge Gorsuch’s comments at the time and that they agreed that the comments were disturbing, wrong, and that they would “speak to Gorsuch at the end of the term.”
Neither administrator responded to requests for a response.
For the record, while it is not illegal for an employer to ask about a female applicant’s future plans for having children during an interview, it is very much illegal to hire or not hire an applicant based on those plans. According to Sisk, Gorsuch ignored that law and said that “companies have to ask these sort of questions at the interview so that companies can protect themselves.”
If what Sisk says is true, Gorsuch has the “vision of Donald Trump,” indeed.
Featured image via Getty/Xinhau News Agency