Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, is a vocal opponent of assisted suicide. While many people are troubled about his previous positions on other issues, some may support this position, even if they are further to the left of your typical pro-lifer. However, he has written other decisions that leave some worried.

Gorsuch, assisted suicide, and the disabled

Only last year, disability rights groups were filing lawsuits to prevent the assisted suicide of Jerika Bolen.

Bolen, a teenager with a Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, made news by declaring that she intended to kill herself. While right-to-die advocates hailed this decision, helping her fund a prom and everything, many disability rights groups took issue with this. Some went as far as to file a lawsuit. It is unknown how Gorsuch would rule in such a case but some of his quotes from his book, "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia," may provide a clue.

In his book, Gorsuch opined that, "“premised on the idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

A big reason that disability rights groups, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, have a major problem with the whole assisted suicide concept is that disabled people tend to be fast-tracked. Any time an able-bodied person considers suicide, people rightly get concerned and try to stop it. However, should a disabled person say they want to die, it gets actively celebrated. Gorsuch seems to oppose this attitude but he is far from perfect.

Gorsuch and disability education laws

One issue that some disability rights groups take with Gorsuch are his opinions on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In one case he wrote that an autistic child who was making minor progress in school should not get placed in a special school. This was despite the fact that all previous judges in the case agreed with the parents.

The current standard where schools only have to make "some progress" is now under review by the Supreme Court. There are currently several investigations that may well end up before the Supreme Court before too long.

One example comes out of Georgia. In this case, special education students were kept in separate schools in clear violation of IDEA. Many of these schools were dilapidated and several students were forced to participate in questionable psychological experiments administered by people who were not qualified to conduct them. In another case, Texas is under fire for instructing schools to put a hard cap on how many students receive special education services.

It is unknown how Gorsuch would rule in such cases.

However, Donald Trump has billed him as the next Scalia. Considering Scalia was almost universally hostile to the Americans with Disabilities Act, some advocates remain skeptical of Gorsuch despite his position on assisted suicide.

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