Does Judge Gorsuch Believe Women Manipulate Maternity Leave?

I wouldn’t be surprised.

A former law student of Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, alleges that in a course she took from Gorsuch at the University of Colorado Law School last year, the judge told his class that employers, specifically law firms, should ask women seeking jobs about their plans for having children and implied that women manipulate companies starting in the interview stage to extract maternity benefits.


On April 19, 2016, Sisk wrote, Judge Gorsuch used a hypothetical from the prepared material for the class, in which a female law student applies for jobs at law firms because the student has a large debt to pay off. The student also intends to have a family with her husband.

“He interrupted our class discussion to ask students how many of us knew women who used their companies for maternity benefits, who used their companies to — in order to have a baby and then leave right away,” Sisk said.

She recalled that few students raised their hands and Gorsuch became animated. “He said, ‘Come on, guys. All of your hands should be up. Many women do this,'” Sisk said.

“Come on, guys. All your hands should be up.” You know how women are. Amirite? If he said this then not only does he live in one hell of a bubble, but his views about how women view employment is dangerous to women’s economy.

Sadly, these opinions are all too prevalent, and they are the main drivers in obstacles to women’s advancement in the workforce. When we assign women the role of mother first (and lawyer, doctor, banker, etc. second) we allow companies to penalize them in advance. This leads to not getting the job, the raise, the promotion – why invest in a women who you believe, once she cashes in on all those maternity benefits, will leave the job after the baby is born.

There are certain things in life that are unknown until they happen. I’ve known women who planned to stay home once the baby arrived, only to decide to go back to work. I’ve known women who planned to work after having a baby, only to decide to stay home. But mostly I know women who didn’t have the luxury of that decision. They have to work to support their family. Where do they figure in to this mindset?

Employers should not be assigning future motives to their employees. They don’t have a crystal ball.

One more thing… I’ve known tons of men who go after jobs they have no intention of remaining at. They either view the job as a stepping stone to another job, or they take the job while still searching for a better job. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

But can you imagine if a man was asked if he was the main bread winner, or if his wife made more money than he did? Can you imagine him being asked, “Your wife makes more money than you, does that mean you’ll be the primary caregiver of this yet-to-be-conceived child? Because that means you’ll probably be missing work and you need to tell us now.”

Yeah, I can’t imagine that conversation either.

And, btw, I’m 100% for parental leave. Fathers need and deserve time with their child. Painting women as manipulative creatures who are out to scam companies sets us back when we need to move forward on the rights of both parents.




5 comments on “Does Judge Gorsuch Believe Women Manipulate Maternity Leave?

  1. Not surprised at all, dare say there’s lots more and better out there. Stopping Gorsuch will not be easy, but any Dem that votes for him needs a primary and badly at that.

  2. I believe this. Here we are well into the 21st century and we still have men who are looking to delegitimize women’s work.

    The problem with Gorsuch’s formulation here is that it is a calculation that far too many Americans need to make. Finding employment that has insurance, finding employment that might cover your conditions, staying in soul crushing employment for the insurance — rather than starting up your own gig are choices that average Americans make every day. What is missing here is the idea that having health insurance Is crucial for most Americans and they will make all kinds of employment choices to get it. Gorsuch seems to think that insurance only belongs to Real Workers, like him, who has probably had government insurance for the better part of his life.

  3. delacrat

    Gorsuch always attended elite private schools and except for 2 years as an associate attorney, he was never an employee in the private sector. His remaining career was in the the Federal government, where there are no profit objectives to conflict with the needs of moms and kids. It’s hard to imagine someone born and bred in a Versaille to be concerned for a woman needing a job.

    Still you’d think a father of two daughters would know better than this, but

    “Gorsuch lives in a 3,600-square-foot home …in a gated subdivision with million-dollar homes”

    so his kids are likely set for life anyway.

    • These Gorsuch articles are always replete with law professors, white shoe lawyers, and federal judges issuing encomiums about how Gorsuch is a down to earth “regular person.” I’ve yet to see an actual regular person say Gorsuch is a regular person. In the linked article, they also call him accessible, but he’s literally not accessible as he lives behind a gate. (To be fair, though, this problem–i.e. little meaningful contact with most of society–seems to plague much of the judiciary these days. I say problem because unlike in most countries our judiciary is a coequal branch of the government.)

  4. Don’t forget to call Sen Coons on first day of Supreme Court Nomination proceedings in the Senate Judiciary
    I called and made five points:
    1. This guy should not have been able to be a nominee based on the denial of hearings for Obama’s nominee and, the threat by Republicans that if Hillary had been elected, they would have denied her a nominee as well.
    2. Gorsuch has come under fire for always siding with corporations over the little guy and recently has faced allegations that he discussed with female law students how he felt that women law firm employees had “gamed” the maternity leave rules.
    3. He shouldn’t get Coons’s vote to make it out of committee.
    4. He shouldn’t get Coons’s vote for cloture to end a potential filibuster.
    5. He should not get Coon’s vote for confirmation.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: