Guest post from Leadership Team of the Main Street Alliance of Iowa, including: ReShonda Young, Waterloo, owner of Popcorn Heaven, Chris Petersen, Clear Lake, family farmer, Mike Draper, Des Moines, owner of Raygun

With decision after decision out of the Supreme Court favoring big business over individuals and small business, we need a Justice who will stop favoring powerful corporate interests over the needs of everyday Americans. This is where the Judiciary Committee and Senator Grassley come in. Americans deserve to know where Neal Gorsuch stands.  As the small business owners, farmers, and entrepreneurs of Main Street Alliance of Iowa, we demand that Senator Grassley seek clarity on the nominee’s past statements and decisions.

The first thing we need clarity on is fairness. Fairness is a big issue right now. We’re seeing court judgments that rewrite laws to protect big businesses from taking any responsibility, and give corporations carte blanche to discriminate against women and the elderly. The scale is tipped to favor the 1% over the rest of us.

Thus we need to take an especially close look at the fairness of Gorsuch’s past decisions. As a federal judge, Gorsuch took an oath to issue rulings “without respect to persons, and do equal rights to the poor and the rich.” We expect our Senator to look at Gorsuch’s rulings for big business, big donors and big bosses, or, as the oath puts it, “the rich.” Time and time again, he’s proven himself to be a strong advocate for corporations at the expense of others. His history reveals a pattern of favoring the “top-down” theory, preferring wealth and power over small business interests.

We don’t believe corporations need more help. They have enough money and power. Small business owners don’t have high-powered attorneys and lobbyists, but as the backbone of America, we deserve a fair shake.

Second, Gorsuch also needs to explain himself on various points of law. And we expect our Iowa Senator, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to lead the way in asking for clarity on key areas of concern for Iowa’s small business owners, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

Here are just a few areas of concern:

Antitrust: Gorsuch taught antitrust law at the University of Colorado, and as a judge he has written decisions in antitrust cases. His record shows that he ignores the realities of how markets and economic power work. He repeatedly rewards big business, helping them keep their dominant position and wreaking havoc on the laws that keep the economy open and competitive.

Economics: There is an uneven playing field between big corporations and our Main Street Alliance businesses. Gorsuch’s economic ideology is especially important as we face a crisis of concentrated economic and political power. We need a justice who, rather than allowing the rich and powerful an unfair advantage, gives equal weight to our small business and farmers. Gorsuch has a history of favoring corporations where the profits from the labor of many are taken by a wealthy few.

Women: Many of our small business owners are women and we believe in equal rights for all. We also believe that corporations are NOT people. As a judge, Gorsuch joined the majority in the Hobby Lobby case, holding that corporations are persons exercising religion for purposes of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that the ACA contraceptive-coverage requirement was not enforceable as to the corporation. This decision also has ramifications to child labor and anti-discrimination laws.

Gorsuch has repeatedly aligned himself with corporations at the expense of small business and workers. A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court has ramifications for generations to come. Put into practice as a Supreme Court Justice, Gorsuch’s beliefs will make the nation more unequal and less free for decades. In other words, with Gorsuch, the 1% would keep winning while the 99% would keep losing. We want Senator Grassley and the Judiciary Committee to ensure that the needs of everyday American small business owners, farmers and entrepreneurs are front and center during Gorsuch’s hearings.


Iowa Main Street Alliance is a project of Iowa Citizen Action Network.  Our members are small business owners/ entrepreneurs/ farmers from across the state who are dedicated to giving a voice to small business. 

For information on the Iowa Main Street Alliance, contact Sue Dinsdale at

Posted 3/16/17

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