CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Last week, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch endured 20 hours of grueling questions and answers, but the longtime judge took it all in stride. Now, reports The New York Times, his part of the confirmation hearings is complete. Gorsuch, along with the rest of the nation, now just awaits the vote.
Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land has praised the constitutional originalist as the late Antonin Scalia’s potential successor in Land’s daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 775 stations nationwide.
“By any standard that should matter, Judge Neil Gorsuch should be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by a large margin of Senators,” Land said. “He is probably the most accomplished legal jurist in the country who is not already on the Supreme Court. Yes, he is a traditionalist. Yes, he is a devotee of natural law, having formally studied the subject at Oxford University.
“However, Judge Gorsuch’s personal views on abortion, homosexuality, marriage and other issues such as where he attends church, should be irrelevant to his confirmation or to the confirmation process,” Land mentioned in a CNN.com article. “As Judge Gorsuch has said, if a judge is always happy with his decisions, he is probably not a very good judge. It is the judge’s job to interpret the law as it is written, not as he would like to it be.”
Land added that Gorsuch is a strict constructionist—an original intent jurist—who believes that judges should interpret the constitution and laws as they were written and intended to be, not to read into them their own subjective means to get the judge’s desired result.
“If the people want to change the Constitution or change the law, they are free to do so,” Land said. “They do not confer with judges to do that in their place. As now-Chief Justice John Roberts explained to Senator Chuck Schumer during his own confirmation hearings, after being asked if Roberts was ‘for the little guy or the big guy,’ Roberts responded, ‘I am for the Constitution. If the Constitution says the big guy should win, then the big guy is going to win. If the Constitution says the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win.’
“Justice Roberts and Judge Gorsuch understand the Constitution,” said Land. “Senator Schumer does not. The best defense against rule by an unelected, imperial judiciary is to confirm more judges like Neil Gorsuch.”
Land continued that Gorsuch’s confirmation is crucial because of the rise of imperial judiciary, which is increasingly threatening both the liberty of Americans to govern themselves as well as their cherished freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, such as freedom of religion.
“Many judges now see any religious expression or conscience as mere outdated, ignorance and bigotry to be swept aside by judicial imperialism,” Land said. “Why was the 2016 presidential election so important? When President Barack Obama took office, secular, liberal progressivists controlled one in 13 of the United Court of Appeals. Now, radical secularists control nine of the 13 federal appeals courts, and the Supreme Court was delicately balanced at four to four, with Justice Scalia’s death. If Hillary Clinton had won the election, all 13 appeals courts would have been very liberal, and so would the Supreme Court for at least the next 20 years. If Hillary Clinton had won, religious freedom as we have known it in this country would have been severely imperiled. For this reason alone, all Christians should pray for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch in the coming days.”
This intersection of law, politics and faith is a central focus for SES’s proposed new Philosophy, Politics and Economics concentration, to commence this fall. The planned PPE concentration will introduce students to the Christian worldview of how philosophy, politics and economics converge, focusing on thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, Karl Marx, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Father Robert Sirico and Jay Richards.
The proposed PPE concentration will train pastors, undergraduate and graduate students, along with lay people interested in a Judeo-Christian perspective, of the vital interconnectedness of philosophy, politics and economics.
For 25 years, SES has been educating Christians about how to best defend their beliefs and recently announced the 24th annualNational Conference on Christian Apologetics. One of the largest events of its kind, the timely theme for 2017 is “Pursuing a Faith That Thinks.” The conference is set for Oct. 13-14, 2017, at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C.
The conference will welcome the nation’s top apologists, who will give the thousands in attendance new presentations on studies, research, history and insight into apologetics and other intellectual, scientific and religious fields. In addition to Land and SES co-founder Norman Geisler, confirmed conference speakers include Richard Howe, Greg Koukl, Jay Richards, Hugh Ross, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace, along with many others. The event will also feature a debate between SES professor emeritus Richard Howe and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, minister turned atheist Dan Barker, on the topic “Is There A God Who Speaks?”
At SES’s apologetics blog, www.WhyDoYouBelieve.org, Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day.SES also explores ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program; for more information, visitwww.ethics.ses.edu.
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