Washington D.C. – As the Supreme Court prepares to consider oral arguments next month on whether to allow Donald Trump’s Muslim ban to move forward, civil rights organizations are calling into question an upcoming Justice Neil Gorsuch’s keynote address at the Trump hotel in Washington before a group with Islamophobic ties.
NIAC Action joined partner groups in signing a letter addressed to Chief Justice Roberts protesting Judge Gorsuch’s attendance as a keynote speaker at the upcoming event, “Defending Freedom Luncheon,” held by The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) at Trump International Hotel in D.C.
NIAC Action, along with the Arab American Institute, ACLU DC, and others note that by speaking at this venue, Judge Gorsuch will be lending both his reputation and that of the Court’s to Trump’s private hotel, profiting the president’s financial interests. Legal and judicial experts have commented on this, saying that public confidence in the Supreme Court should have led Judge Gorsuch to pass on the invitation.
Furthermore, the organization hosting the event, TFAS, has donors that have contributed to several anti-muslim groups. One donor, The Lynde and Bradley Harris Foundation has contributed $6.5 million dollars to groups that the Center for American Progress deems to “profoundly misrepresent Islam and American Muslims in the United States.”
If he attends this event, Judge Gorsuch’s impartiality will be called into question on future cases related to both President Trump’s interests and anti-Muslim policies. This is especially worrying considering that the Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments on the Muslim ban in Trump vs. IRAP less than two weeks after the luncheon.
The letter states that in order to preserve the impartiality the public expects of the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch must decline attending the event amid these issues; or, he must recuse himself from any future cases involving that of Trump’s interests, or anti-Muslim policies.
By signing on to the letter, NIAC Action has taken a stand to maintain the high ethical standards expected of judicial officers, especially Supreme Court Justices. NIAC Action and the other signatories are committed to ensuring that cases regarding anti-Muslim policies can be heard by an impartial court.Back to top