RELIGION

Supreme Court nominee has defended free speech, religion

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, Supreme Court Justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, Supreme Court Justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)  (The Associated Press)

An Associated Press review of federal Judge Neil Gorsuch's rulings show that the Supreme Court nominee has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims.

And his record puts him at odds with President Donald Trump's disdain for journalists and tendency to lash out at critics.

But when examining other First Amendment cases involving freedom of religion, Gorsuch's rulings in his decade as an appeals court judge reflect views more in line with the president and conservatives. Gorsuch repeatedly has sided with religious groups when they butt up against the secular state.

Trump has said he is waging a "running war" against the news media and wants to make it easier to sue for libel.