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Civil Rights Groups, Lawmakers, Pan Gorsuch Pick

Florida civil rights groups and Democratic legislators are blasting Colorado federal appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination. But  not all progressives are up in arms.

The morning after President Donald Trump’s prime-time announcement, advocates for women, minority, immigrants and the LGBT rights were sounding the alarm.

Democratic Representative Daisy Baez of Coral Gables calls Gorsuch a rubber stamp for a White House bent on destroying civil liberties. She points to Gorsuch’s defense of corporations that opposed paying for employee health plans that cover birth control – a case called Hobby Lobby.

“We are very worried about the trend that we have seen in this administration of not protecting women’s reproductive rights, of siding on the side of large corporations.”

Tony Lima, executive director of the Miami-Dade LGTB advocacy group SAVE, says Gorsuch’s nomination is another example of the nascent Trump Administration’s catering to religious conservatives.

“With another far right justice, the court would likely uphold restrictive state laws in Mississippi and elsewhere that undermine marriage equality and harm LGBTQ individuals everywhere.”

But in a New York Times op ed, a former Obama Administration acting solicitor general defends Gorsuch, saying the 49-year-old Harvard Law grad has sterling credentials and shown a willingness to stand up for judicial independence.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.