Media Outlets Fail to Report Gorsuch Sexism Accuser Is a Former Democratic Staffer

Judge Neil Gorsuch
Judge Neil Gorsuch / Getty Images
March 20, 2017

Various media outlets covered an allegation that President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch once made sexist comments in a law school class without reporting that the accuser is a former Democratic staffer.

Jennifer Sisk alleged in a letter on Sunday that while she was a student of Gorsuch's at the University of Colorado law school, Gorsuch made insensitive comments about women in the workplace. According to Sisk, Gorsuch told the class that women often "manipulate" maternity leave and that law offices had the right to question female applicants about whether they were pregnant.

But according to Sisk's LinkedIn account, she worked as a legislative correspondent in the U.S. Senate from 2010 to 2012. According to congressional disclosure site Legistorm, the Senator she worked for was Democratic Colorado Sen. Mark Udall.

Following her Senate stint, Sisk worked for three years in the Obama Interior Department. Her LinkedIn lists her position as "special assistant." According to internal documents, Sisk worked as the staff assistant in the immediate office of former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

Sisk's allegation has been picked up by traditional outlets like NPR New York Daily News, and New York Magazine, as well as a litany of feminist sites like Jezebel and Cosmopolitan. Not one of those outlets disclose that the allegation was made by a former Democratic staffer and Obama administration employee.

Sisk's letter has been challenged by another student in her class, who claims she took Gorsuch's remarks out of context.

"It is clear that my classmate and I have a different account of what happened in class. But had Judge Gorsuch truly made the statements described in the letter, I would remember—the statements would have greatly upset me," wrote current law student Will Hauptman.