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An Insider’s View On Big Cases Before The U.S. Supreme Court

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2017 12:00 pm

An Insider’s View On Big Cases Before The U.S. Supreme Court

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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March 2, 2017 12:00 pm

David Cortman, Senior Counsel & Vice President of U.S. Litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom, speaks about President Trump’s nominee to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court, as well as some of the most important cases related to religious liberty on which the court is likely to rule or to take up in the near future.

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Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

This is a mainstream candidate who has. It is already known as writing throughout their excellent reviews from every type of body that accredited him just high marks all the way around is with family president John Rustin thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. Our guest today is David Cortlandt, Senior Counsel and VP of US litigation with the watch defending freedom and alliance building nonprofit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith we will be talking with David about Pres. Trump's nominee to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court as well as some of the most important cases, especially those related to religious liberty on which the court is likely to rule or to take up in the near future. David walking the family policy matter to try to have you with us on the show have me on again. Well, it's a real pleasure in David, the Supreme Court currently has one vacant seat. As a result of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia last year, Pres. troppo courses nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch tell us a bit about the credentials and qualifications of Judge Gore such as we begin that have prepared him to be considered for a seat on our nation's highest court, yet very impressive when you look at them starting at his education. His got degrees from Columbia and Harvard and Oxford so very impressive on the educational background that it was a judge on the 10th circuit Court of Appeals to clerk for several Supreme Court justices so all the way back he worked for the Atty. Gen.'s office. He worked in private practice so pretty substantial and impressive resume going back to the dictation. Well Impressive. Also considering is believe that he is only a 49 years old so a lot of great experience there and a lot that seems to have prepared him well for a seat on the nation's high court, I think so and I think that's one of things that we always look at is what is the track record of the person that is nominated sometimes to people that are are running for office or for a judicial seat and there's simply no no record of their background or where they stand on different types of issues.

And so it certainly helpful to have someone who has such a deep impressive record surely absolutely thinking of track record is judge Gorsuch ruled on any of the cases of particular interest to the work of organizations like alliance defending freedom and NC families, particularly relating to topics like religious freedom, free-speech marriage, school choice or sanctity of human life. What what we know what can we infer about his judicial philosophy from those or other rulings that we there's there's quite a bit out there and in and first of all just speaking with what you mentioned about judicial philosophy. He has written about a regionalism.

In other words it what he said was that judges are charged with applying according the law according to its original public meaning. So he talks about a regionalism his guts writings about conservativism in an judicial restraint.

For example, about judges to apply the laws that is focusing backward toward what the Constitution says not forward but then looking into the text and structure in history to decide what that document means. And so we have these principles and play of conservativism, regionalism, and then we also have specific opinions. For example, if you worked on the Conestoga would case which was matched up with the Hobby lobby case that many people know about and he wrote an opinion when it was at that. The 10th circuit Court of Appeals and in the impressive part of that was that the government was second-guessing the religious beliefs of the of those families involved in that case, and the big Judge Gore's breach of basically said it's not for secular courts to rewrite the religious complaint of a faithful inherent in other words, they're not the court cannot protect against whether some activity is is conformity with your religious beliefs are not and so there's been several opinions with that theme comes out about the freedom of religion, a people practice it up not having the government second-guess that freedom and is judge Gorsuch from riding on issues related to life seem to recall that he has written something about assisted suicide. For example, well that's exactly right. He is actually written about issues in life and in about protecting life and as as you mentioned, wrote about his suicide.

And so it it's one of those things, not only in the cases that were before him that you could read his views, but also in what are called extrajudicial writings in the weather in different types of documents is written, but also protector of life and of course that's that's something that we think is extremely important. David course. Pres. Trump is nominated Gorsuch should what what is the confirmation process that he must go through now with the United States Senate and do you have any expectation of how long that process might take yeah I did. I laugh because it really depends on what the Democrats do and so that though my understanding is that hopefully that the confirmation hearings will begin sometime in the beginning to the middle of March and then once it comes out of the confirmation committee then it goes to the full Senate and so pending on how long it's taken. If the if the Democrats decide to filibuster.

This is a a a mainstream candidate who has his views already known as writing throughout their excellent reviews from every type of body that accredited him in intellectual just just high marks all the way around, so it shouldn't take that long, you know, my guess is that the proper time should be all about a month to month and 1/2, but I'm be interested to see as many people are with that with the Democrats will do if they'll still try to to to filibuster and stop the your listening policy matters of resource to listen to our radio show online resources have a place of persuasion in your community In the meantime, of course, the Supreme Court is continuing to consider cases of great import to our nation. I know that you serve as lead counsel. On one of those cases Trinity Lutheran Church a Columbia veep always tell us a little bit about that case and how the timing of this confirmation process might have an effect on whether the case is basically about people have heard of the separation of church and state. The establishment clause in and of course, freedom of religion free exercise principles and in this case with interesting is that we represent a church who was improving its playground.

They actually church runs a preschool center and so they decided to improve their playground and the state of Missouri. I had a recycling program was a great program where they take recycled tires trying to get them out of dumps and and and off the sides of highways in different places and they recycle those and use the rubber for playground surface so it's safer for the kids when they fall off the monkey bars or whatever other church applied for a grant just to resurface the playground to put this rubber surfacing on, and although they complied with all of the criteria. All the application process everything that that the state required. Once they realized that this this preschool was operated by religious organization. They said because of their state constitution. The state separation of church and state that they could not receive this grant, even though every other similar organization could and even though they rank better than all but four of the different organizations that applied for so we filed a lawsuit arguing that it violated both are free exercise any protection rights and the reason for that is in our opinion, a religious organization shouldn't be treated worse than a secular organization. It should be given equal access on an even playing field and and someone should not be punished or excluded from a general government benefit program, especially when it relates to safety merely because of their their religious faith interesting will deftly be watching that with great interest. Another case that the High Court is poised to here in late March could certainly have direct implications for North Carolina and that is the case of Gloucester County school board versus GG or Gavin Grimm, which involves restroom and locker room access policies in public schools, and this is a a identifying transgender student who is biologically female but wants to identify as a male and have access to boys, bathrooms in public schools in Virginia. What is at stake at this case and how do you think the makeup of the Supreme Court could impact the result here. A very very important case for were all over the country for the entire country and that is when we you know leave the education of our kids in the hands of of local and state officials.

The question is is is is do we want students of a particular sex.

For example, in the case of someone is is born a female because they self identify as the opposite sex, or in this case a male, and in fact ADF has several cases across the country where there are students who are biologically male, who perceived himself another word, they just think that there females that they should have legal access to restrooms, locker room, showering facilities, I'm sleepovers with the opposite sex and not appointed ADF is that we should respect the privacy of all students and there's ways to accommodate these these transgender students were professing the opposite sex, but not to basically give them unfettered access to restrooms of of the opposite sex of this is the case with giant implications of safety concerns and privacy concerns for students all around the country will no doubt ends, particularly in North Carolina. As you have been battling the whole issue surrounding house bill to which the North Gen. assembly passed to ensure exactly what you're talking about privacy, safety and dignity of all citizens and public bathroom showers, locker rooms and similar facilities in North Carolina. Now David ADF is also petitioned the Supreme Court to consider a case involving a cake shop owner in Colorado who is been punished for declining to promote and celebrate same-sex marriage through his business. In other words, baking cakes for same-sex weddings and really what what he believes would be a violation of his religious liberties.

What is happened in this case in similar cases and have any of them made it all the way up to the Supreme Court another greatly important case for the freedoms of Americans to live and work. According to the faith of cases actually sitting at the Supreme Court of where we've asked them to review the case.

Build conference that I believe at the end of the week and we should know by next week is extremely important and and and that it enters way to describe this as we proceed.

For example, when Pres. Trump was was had his inauguration there were people who who didn't want to. For example, bake the cake didn't want to make the first lady stress and they said, look, this is something we don't agree with. And so it's because of*creative talent that are expressive messaging or speech. We refused to do so. We think they have a right to do so. Yet what happens. The left doesn't apply those same courtesies to folks who don't want to participate. For example, like our client Jack Phillips in promoting and participating in same-sex marriage and so we have this kind of double standard going on were people who have a religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman should be 40 to endorse a message or speak a message that they disagree with and yet they take those same freedoms to oppose a for example, in this case Pres. Trump in his election at the point of the cases the people should have the right to express messages they agree with. They shouldn't be 40 by the government under penalty some of our cases there's there's fines and jail time and and bankruptcy that that loom for the clients and we just think that all American job.

The freedom to deliver work according to their faith without punishment from the government well and we have actually seen in the early days of our legislative session this year.

Bills introduced in in the north Carolina Gen. assembly that would not only repeal house bill to in its entirety. But this legislation would actually impose upon the state a standard that recognizes sexual orientation and gender identity as legally protected classifications like civil rights protections, and as we have been working to convey to legislators and others. These are exactly the kinds of laws and ordinances that have been used in states and municipalities across the country to go after these business owners who are simply trying to operate their business in a peaceful way in accordance with her deeply and sincerely held religious beliefs yeah absolutely and and affect our our country has long accommodated religious belief that a lot of different issues and what's interesting here which which I think is is either not grasp purposefully by some on the left is that this type of freedom protect everyone. It doesn't matter whether you hold religious beliefs are not. If if there are if there's no religious freedom protection. There is no other types of protection you look at any country that doesn't have true religious freedom. They also don't have free speech, freedom of the press three exercise. Everything else falls and so immediate type of instances the principle that we are fighting on behalf of protect everyone regardless of your religious beliefs and that is you should be punished to participate in in a message or participated in active violates your religious beliefs or violate your rights of conscience or whatever happens to be in that principal protect everyone, whereas now we have folks on the left trying to force people to accept different messages in different events and promote them that they disagree with that.

We just think.

Not only is it wrong but it just violates fundamental fairness for the government to punish people to act in the way that they choose not to. Without unfortunately they were just about out of time, but I want to give you an opportunity to let our listeners know where they can go to learn more about alliance different thinning freedom as well as the status of these cases in the Supreme Court, and in lower courts across our nation. Absolutely. Our website is ADF you can contact us toll-free at one 800 hotel ADF.dll ADF and and if anyone is aware of situations where the religious liberties are being violated were certainly look into helping them free of charge, and we appreciate all that you do with all the truth that you could and with that, David Corbin, I want to thank you so much for joining us on a young family policy matters and wish you all the best with this. I know that we, our listeners will be watching with great interest the confirmation hearings and also the future activities of the United States wrinkle listening to family policy production and to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website see and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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