Current Events – Religious Liberty

Press Release from First Liberty

National Religious Freedom Expert: Judge Gorsuch Has Solid Record on Religious Freedom

Dallas, Texas – Today, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, praises Judge Gorsuch’s consistent record on religious liberty.

“As a candidate, President Trump promised to appoint pro-religious freedom judges to the Supreme Court,” Shackelford says. “Today, he took a positive step toward achieving that goal.”

“As a religious freedom law firm, we have one criterion for evaluating judicial candidates. We ask, ‘Does this candidate have a proven record of upholding the Constitution, especially as it relates to religious freedom?’ I am pleased to say that Judge Gorsuch has just such a record, authoring or joining multiple landmark opinions upholding religious freedom.”

Some of the most notable religious freedom opinions Judge Gorsuch wrote or signed as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals include:

  • HHS Abortion Pill Mandate – Judge Gorsuch wrote and joined opinions supporting the rights of ministries and closely-held family businesses to be free from the burden imposed by the HHS Abortion Pill Mandate (Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius (2013), Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell (2015)).
  • Establishment Clause – Judge Gorsuch wrote or signed opinions upholding the constitutionality of the public display of Ten Commandments monuments (Summum v. Pleasant Grove City (2007), Green v. Haskell County Bd. of Cnty. Commissioners (2009)).
  • Monuments and Memorials – Judge Gorsuch wrote an opinion defending the existence of cross-shaped memorials for fallen state troopers (American Atheists, Inc. v. Duncan (2010)).

“America needs Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Constitution and defend the religious liberty of every American,” Shackelford says. “I am hopeful that Judge Gorsuch will live up to President Trump’s and the American people’s expectations and strongly protect our constitutional freedoms.”


About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute was founded in 1997, First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans.

They believe that true religious liberty means recognizing the fundamental right of every individual—including all ages, races, genders, and faiths—to follow their conscience and to live according to their beliefs. Because of that, our mission is simple: protect religious freedom for all.

If an American’s religious freedom is threatened, First Liberty stands ready to assist.

First Liberty attorneys partner with elite volunteer lawyers from across the nation, including the top law firms in the United States. This innovative strategy allows their clients to be represented by the nation’s top lawyers at no cost, leading First Liberty to achieve an unparalleled victory rate.


“The people of the United States have been a favored people; but when they restrict religious liberty, surrender Protestantism, and give countenance to popery, the measure of their guilt will be full, and ‘national apostasy’ will be registered in the books of heaven.” The Review and Herald, May 2, 1893.