A former University of Colorado Law School student has alleged that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch once informed a class full of law students that “many” women try to milk maternity benefits out of their employers and that law firms would be wise to ask prospective female employees if they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.
Sisk encountered Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia, when he taught a legal ethics class in the spring of 2016 at the taxpayer-funded school.
In April 2016, Sisk maintains, Gorsuch presented a hypothetical scenario to students concerning a female attorney who “used a company to get maternity benefits and then left right after having a baby,” Sisk’s letter explains.
Law professors constantly use various hypothetical scenarios to help students grasp the complexities of a given area of law.
Sisk’s letter charges that Gorsuch then suggested that “many” women exploit their employers by claiming maternity benefits and then leaving shortly after they give birth.
Gorsuch also declared that employers “had to ask female interviewees about pregnancy plans in order to protect the company,” Sisk claims.
“Throughout this class, Judge Gorsuch continued to make it very clear that the question of commitment to work over family was one that only women had to answer for,” Sisk also writes. “It concerned me that a man educating female lawyers would be discounting their worth publicly.”
Sisk’s letter, addressed to Sen. Charles Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of the Senate Judiciary Committee, goes on to declare that the fresh-faced law school graduate is deeply concerned. She believes the Senate should explore Gorsuch’s values “further during his confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court.”
The charges set forth by Sisk are somewhat reminiscent of Anita Hill’s charges against Clarence Thomas.
In 1991, Hill — and then a bevy of acolytes — alleged that Thomas shouldn’t be a Supreme Court Justice because, she claimed, he asked her on a date and told bawdy jokes — fully a decade before his Supreme Court nomination.
Thomas flatly denied the allegations. Hill’s long-delayed claims generated much outrage on the left but ultimately failed to derail the Senate’s confirmation of Thomas. (RELATED: Did Brandeis Student With ‘No Sympathy’ For Dead Cops Learn At Anita Hill’s Knee?)
Gorsuch does not appear to have responded to Sisk’s allegations about comments he made as a legal ethics professor.
A second student in Gorsuch’s University of Colorado class, Will Hauptman, has responded by Sisk’s letter on Sunday with a missive of his own.
“Although Judge Gorsuch did discuss some of the topics mentioned in the letter, he did not do so in the manner described,” Hauptman wrote, according to NBC.
A group of 11 women who previously clerked for Gorsuch has submitted a third letter supporting the judge.
“When we collectively say that Judge Gorsuch treats and values women fairly and without preference or prejudice based on their gender, we do not say that in a vacuum,” the 11 former clerks wrote, according to National Public Radio. “We say it with the perspective of those who know that unfortunately, even in 2017, female lawyers are not always treated as equals.”
Another University of Colorado student — who wishes to remain unidentified — has set forth allegations similar to Sisk’s claims in the sublimely ridiculous form of a legal affidavit.
Gorsuch is a federal judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
His Senate confirmation hearings began Monday. (RELATED: Gorsuch Gets Boost From Democrats In Hearings)
The National Women’s Law Center and the National Employment Lawyers Association have both published Sisk’s letter.
The National Employment Lawyers Association has also published a murky copy of a Sisk’s contemporaneous Facebook account of Gorsuch’s comments. The April 20, 2016 Facebook posting by Sisk uses the words “patriarchy” and “rich white men.”
Sisk has been a staffer for former Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat. She also worked in some capacity for the Department of the Interior during President Barack Obama’s administration.
The University of Colorado is most famous, of course, for launching an on-campus spying campaign encouraging students to report incidents of “bias” to government officials at the school. The point of the “Bias Incident Reporting” scheme is to make the taxpayer-funded Boulder campus free of “demeaning and hurtful statements.” School officials have advertised the campaign with posters featuring absurdly demeaning and hurtful statements. “Go back to Africa, you don’t belong here,” one school-funded poster has read. “Your mom must be the janitor ’cause that’s the only job for dirty Mexicans, a second poster has declared. (RELATED: University Of Colorado Combats ‘Bias’ With Huge Student Surveillance Scheme)