If you didn’t hear today, a former student at the University of Colorado made an accusation that Neil Gorsuch, the Federal Appeals Judge nominated to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, made inappropriate comments about women in one of the classes she took while in Law School.
The student alleges in a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, that Gorsuch told a classroom “full of women” that women abuse maternity leave. Gorsuch allegedly said that women take jobs a big law firms, only to get pregnant and the milk their employer for their maternity leave to quit once their time is up. Sounds pretty bad, right?
Well, of course the media took no time in addressing this with the following headlines:
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) March 20, 2017
— CNN (@CNN) March 20, 2017
— Salon (@Salon) March 20, 2017
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 20, 2017
The letter was sent Sunday by former Gorsuch student Jennifer Sisk, a Denver area lawyer.
From the Letter:
Instead, he asked the class to raise their hands if they knew of a female who had used a company to get maternity benefits and the left right after have a baby. Judge Gorsuch specifically targeted females and maternity leave. This question was not about parents or men shifting priorities after having children. It was solely focused on women using their companies.
I do not remember if any students raised their hands, but is was no more than a small handful of students. At that point Judge Gorsuch became more animated saying “C’mon guys”. He then announced that all our hands should be raised because “many” women use their companies for maternity benefits and then leave the company after the baby is born. Judge Gorsuch focused on women having babies, not men expanding their families. Judge Gorsuch argued that because many women left their companies we all knew women who purposefully used their companies and plan to disadvantage their companies starting from the first interview.
Yikes. Gorsuch saying something this bad really should disqualify him from the Supreme Court. Saying that women use maternity benefits certainly is horrible.
But did he?
Enter facts: As a portion of any law class, most professors will discuss case law and information about their studies in the hypothetical.
That’s exactly what fellow student Will Hauptman said:
“Although Judge Gorsuch did discuss some of the topics mentioned in the letter, he did not do so in the manner described,” Will Hauptman wrote in the letter, which was sent on Sunday.
Hauptman wrote that Gorsuch often asked his students to consider the challenges they would face as new attorneys, including the tension between building a career and starting a family, especially for women.
“The seriousness with which the judge asked us to consider these realities reflected his desire to make us aware of them, not any animus against a career or group,” he wrote.
That could very well be his opinion, right? I mean he must be one of those other sexist white men who just is out to exercise his privilege all over the place.
Except one big problem: Sisk herself agreed it was a hypothetical.
On Sisk’s own Facebook page she posted the following after the class:
To/dr rant patriarchy
In my finals hours of law school I’m grateful for the professor who spends the entire lecture bemoaning the workoholic, alcoholic, mental health problems in the profession yet argues the only jobs worth taking are biglaw jobs with starting salaries at 120,000. Who reminds us that public service jobs are a waste of time because you “just burn out after 5 maybe 6 years and where’s the paycheck plus what law firm will hire you after one of those? And then ends the lecture with a CLASS HYPO[thetical] (emphasis added) about women who are asked if they plan to start families soon in their interviews and then uses our answers to talk about how poor firms hire these women and then “many” end up getting pregnant, taking full maternity leave and then just quitting right away.
I’m truely grateful for rich white men reminding me the true purpose of the law is money, except for women lawyers where the true purpose is money until you are lucky enough to find a man to knock you up.
It has been several months since that occurrence and she could remember it differently now. Surely, he was being serious!
From earlier in her letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee:
In our reading to prepare for class on April 19, ther was a HYPOTHETICAL (emphasis added) 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. (emphasis added)
Well that’s interesting. It wasn’t Gorsuch who ranted off on women in law firms. It was in their reading. He simply presented the question to the class as a portion of the hypothetical, and in the super-sexist way he has, challenged his students to argue back a position that would counter that. Imagine that.
Levelling this accusation now couldn’t possibly be politically motivated could it? I mean, if she really felt the American people needed to know, why wait for the week of his confirmation when he was nominated weeks ago?
What do you know! Sisk actually worked for Democrat Senator Mark Udall, from 2008 to 2010. She then later worked for the Department of the Interior under President Obama.
From her LinkedIn Account:
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Come on Tony! Lots of people work for people they don’t agree with! This proves nothing!
You’re right. I myself, have worked for people I don’t agree with politically, and held my own personal beliefs.
In the screenshot of Sisk’s Facebook page, I noticed something in the left column that speaks volumes about her own personal beliefs:
A cursory Facebook search provides you with:
Well now. How much of this did the media report? Did the headlines say “Student makes Refuted Accusation against Gorsuch?” “Former Democrat Staffer and Hillary Supporter makes accusation against Gorsuch?” How about “Student says Gorsuch Challenged her beliefs.”
The media wants you to believe that the Democrat staffer and former Obama Administration employee, altruistically came forward to make a real and credible accusation against a man she knew was going to be up for a hearing for over a month and a half? GET. OUT.
In this media age where people don’t read beyond the headline, and if they do, they rarely get beyond the first or second paragraph before they are clicking the share button, publishing articles like this have one motive and one motive alone: to forward THEIR narrative. This isn’t journalism. I’m a sarcastic jackass and was able to put this together before I finished my evening tea. This is an ideological mugging. This is sneaking up behind Gorsuch, who has glowing reviews from people on both sides of the aisle, and punching him in the back of the head.
There is more evidence to suggest that Gorsuch DIDN’T say those things than evidence that he did, and yet the media wastes no time in promulgating this story everywhere. They couldn’t be bothered to write an honest headline or address in their first paragraph, the second letter that supports Gorsuch. They have to ignore it or bury it because the half-wits they are addressing are clicking share before they read. The media is doing nothing but unabashedly driving the ideological wedge. They know exactly what they are doing and they don’t care.
Shame on them.