Mary Elizabeth Taylor: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, Black Woman sitting behind Gorsuch, Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearing

Mary Elizabeth Taylor is sitting behind Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation hearings. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Who is the woman sitting behind Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorusch during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee? That’s Mary Elizabeth Taylor, who now works for the Donald Trump Administration in the White House legislative affairs unit. Taylor has become a social media star, grabbing the spotlight from the judge.

Taylor sat behind Gorsuch on Monday, March 20 and has been seen behind him during the second and third days of his confirmation hearings. She’s been more visible than Gorsuch’s wife Louise Gorsuch and it’s not clear why she has been given such a prominent seat. Although she worked on Gorsuch’s nomination team when he was meeting Senators before the hearings, she was not a lead staffer.

Gorsuch was nominated by Trump to fill the seat on the Supreme court left vacant after Justice Antonin Scalia‘s death in 2016.

Taylor’s career in Washington began while she was in college. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she began interning in the Senate in July 2006. She worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and was an assistant in the Senate Republican Cloakroom, where politicians often make deals outside official meetings.

Here’s what you need to know about Taylor.

1. She Currently Works for the White House Legislative Affairs Unit

Politico reports that Taylor currently works in the White House legislative affairs unit, focusing on work with the Senate. The unit acts as a liaison between the President and the legislative houses and tries to push the President’s agenda through Congress.

The White House officially announced on March 22 that Taylor’s job title is Deputy Director of Nominations.

According to Dow Jones, Taylor works under Amy Swonger, a longtime lobbyist who also worked for Mitch McConnell in the past. In 2015, Swonger joined Heather Podesta & Partners. Swonger will have to terminate her lobbying registration and can’t hold meetings with former clients at the White House until 2018, per Trump’s executive order on ethics.

The Washington Post reported that Taylor also worked closely with Makan Delrahim, the lead staffer on Gorsuch’s nomination team. The White House picked former New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte to help Gorsuch navigate through the Senate and meet Senators.

In 2013, The Atlantic reported that the Legislative Affairs office has a role that often changes from president to president. During his second term, President Barack Obama described his office as “responsible for advancing the president’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill. “Every day, the Legislative Affairs team is on the front lines, working with senators, representatives, and their staffs to promote the president’s priorities,” the Obama White House said of its unit.

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2. She Is a Former Aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, woman behind Gorsuch, Gorsuch hearing


Before joining the White House, Taylor was an aide to Senator Mitch McConnell, the current Majority Leader in the Senate. According to the Washington Post, Taylor’s job in McConnell’s office was to help him develop personal relationships with other Republican senators. She was also an assistant in the Senate cloakroom from May 2011 to December 2014.

The database Legistorm shows that Taylor was paid $37,264.40 as a Senate Cloakroom Assistant. A 2014 list of officers and officials of the Senate shows Taylor as one of four cloakroom assistants.

In Congress, the “cloakrooms” are special rooms where members of the House and Senate have conversations that aren’t considered formal meetings. These are open to only elected members of Congress and their staffers. It’s important for behind-the-scenes deal making. As the New York Times reported in 2010, McConnell fells “more at home plotting tactics in the cloakroom” than working in committees or on the campaign trail.

While on The View recently, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer referenced the cloakroom as a place where Republicans can quietly express their opinions. “When you talk to Republicans quietly — in the cloakroom or in the gym, they are having real problems with [Trump],” Schumer said.

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3. She Interned for Koch & the Washington Nationals in College

According to her LinkedIn page, Taylor was an intern for Koch Industries in the summer of 2010, while she was still in college. Koch is based in Wichita, Kansas and is a politically powerful manufacturing company, thanks to the Koch brothers‘ contributions to Republican candidates. The company does have an office in Washington, D.C.

She also interned in the Washington Nationals marketing department while in college.

She started her career in Washington as a Senate Floor intern in July 2006. She continued as an intern until August 2009. Taylor was also a Public Policy Leadership Fellow at the Fund for American Studies (TFAS) in 2012. The Fund for American Study’s mission is to develop “leaders for a free society.” It was established in 1967 by former New Jersey Governor Charles Edison, the son of Thomas Edison.

Roger Ream, the current TFAS president, celebrated Taylor’s presence at the hearing on Twitter. “Great to see @TFASorg alumna Mary Elizabeth Taylor sitting behind Judge Gorsuch at hearing. #changingtheworld,” he wrote.

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4. She Has a Political Science Degree From Bryn Mawr College

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, woman behind Gorsuch, Gorsuch hearing


Taylor’s LinkedIn page notes that she has a degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, a woman’s college in Pennsylvania. She graduated in 2011 and also studied Spanish. While there, she was also a peer career adviser from 2009 to 2011.

The college was founded in 1885 and was the first women’s college to offer Ph.D. graduate education.

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5. The Man Sitting Next to Her is Michael McGinley

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, woman behind Gorsuch, Gorsuch hearing


The man seen sitting next to Taylor at Gorsuch’s hearings during the second day was Michael McGinley. According to his LinkedIn page, he is currently an associate counsel to President Donald Trump. He’s also a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

McGinley is a Harvard Law School graduate, who also earned a B.A. at the University of Notre Dame. He was previously a law clerk for Gorsuch and was also a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

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    • What an awful thing to say. She’s an intelligent and beautiful young women. People like you give white people a bad name.

      • People who let their personal political bias do their thinking for them aren’t thinking.

        I googled “Who is the beautiful woman sitting behind Neil Gorsuch in his hearings” and that brought out all kinds of info on Ms. Taylor, obviously I’m not the only one who thinks she’s rather striking.

    • You are a POS idiot. I know it just drives you nut bag liberals crazy, but there are many young black women who believe in working hard, personal responsibility, & accountability. They ALL don’t get knocked up by 3 fathers with 5 babies on their hips, collecting welfare. Some actually believe in the cause of conservatism & determining their own destiny, instead of being satisfied eating the scraps from the government table. Jackass!

  1. you mean sitting to the left of him not the right of him. unless of course you meant politically :) and the cloakroom is open only to members and staff, not closed to members and staff. #CopyEditorHere

    • “She’s a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she studied political science, and she’s a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. ”

      What Harvard law degree does she have??…you moron

  2. >>>She Is a Former Aide to House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell<<< Mr. McConnell representing the great state of Kentucky is the U.S. Senate Leader, not the House

  3. Unfortunately, to be honest, the scene reminded me of Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinski admiring from the background. Some facial responses and emotions seem indistinguishable from his wife over his other shoulder. I’m glad someone cleared this up for me. :)

  4. I don’t care what color she is. I wanted to know why they chose to put her behind him, she seems to be playing a part. Its distracting. She is sitting there pie-eyed and emotional whenever the Judge speaks. His WIFE isn’t even emoting as much as she is. Now I know, her boss is Trump… and it makes sense now – given the “live” sh!t show that has been following this president from day 1. Every day I am aghast and appalled with the display of buffoonery.

      • No that’s someone who is wise to the con truly racist people like you always try to pull. Namely use some Aunt Jemima Black woman as a prop, in order to hide the reality of your own racism. It doesn’t work on anyone except the cooperative racists in the news media..who’re always eager to go along with your type’s transparent cons.

        • So, whenever a liberal does it, they care about black women, & when conservatives do it, it to use them. What an idiot! Believe it or not, I know MANY Christian black women who believe there is more to life than getting knocked up & collecting welfare. Once the shackles of liberalism are released, these women see the unlimited potential of determining their own destiny. Fool.

      • It’s not liberal, or racist, she was a prop for these hearings. Whatever the case, she is gorgeous. Very distracting to look at this guy who obviously has never seen the light of day sitting there being grilled and just over his shoulder, this beautiful dark woman who looked like she was gushing over every word Gorsuch said. Nothing racist or liberal about it. Many people thought the same, thus this thread.

    • I agree. Trump is into stage craft and props. She’s a prop. Her facial expressions of adoration are inappropriate. She’s over doing it just as the judge is going over the top with gosh darn, friendly and folksy charm but reveals very little. The proof is in his legal decisions. Her smile can’t hide that he probably has no real respect and compassion for people from her community.

  5. Ms. Taylor does seem to be strategically placed indirectly behind the nominee. Yes, she is easy on the eye. As is Gorsuch. Referring to Taylor, is that the only thing you people who support Trump see when you see a woman? I think she is a deliberate plant by Trump and Bannon. These men think, and maybe they’re correct, that great numbers of Americans are so dumbed down that they wouldn’t question this gals presence. One other thing, check the replay of today 3/22/17. At approximately 3:50pm ET, which was the conclusion of his being questioned by Sen. Blumenthal of CT., the nominee turned around to his left, smiling directly at her (Taylor) in what might be considered a look for her approval. Didn’t I read that she had something to do with Koch industries sometime in her past?

  6. She is a republican black prop. They always have to have some visible in the sight. She is just like Omorosa and the other misguided black people who approve of trump.

  7. “Taylor’s job in McConnell’s office was to develop close, personal relationships with other Republican senators. ” What does this mean???

  8. Leave it to the looney libs to interpret a beautiful, educated, conservative woman as “stagecraft.” You have short memories of Michelle and Barack arranging people who would appear behind them when they gave speeches. Michelle was over-heard yelling, “more white people, I need more white people!”

  9. When I first saw her sitting there, my first thought was that she was a prop to create a less than racist image for the judge. After hearing her role, it makes no sense for he to be there. To bad she is allowing herself to be used this way.

  10. She’s a rotten whore..a traitor to blk ppl…a propaganda tool of white fascist racists who pimp her dumb blk azz for political mileage…Ummm…”we ain’t racist…look we got this blkbtch prominently displayed” LOL!!!!

    • You call her a whore and black bitch and yet have the nerve to call others racist! She is educated and clearly accomplished, but all you can see is that she is working with white men and you can’t have access to her or any woman of her caliber. You’re truly a pathetic excuse for a man! Also, don’t act like black males don’t keep a whole squad of “bed warmers” as you so crassly put it. People are out here making political power moves and the only thing on your mind is sex. No wonder you people stay at the bottom!

      • I was TOTALLY in support with what you were saying…UNTIL THE LAST LINE! Your stance was precise and even “noble”; and then you went and undid your position of the “moral high-ground” with your generalization of “…you people…” Your statement demonstrated that you are not a misogynist, but rather racist. How is that better? (That was a rhetorical question…please do not respond.)

  11. Wow… Some here think that a person of color can ONLY be either a victim, or a stooge/prop. So,,,, they can’t be successful in their own right?? Racist much?? Emperor, you have no clothes.

  12. wow. so i guess, mitch, donald, and neil have all been passing along their brown sugar….she must be the official uncle tom house nigg*r

  13. Attractive, highly intelligent, sophisticated, independent, motivated, and conservative. Not sure what her skin color has to do with anything. According to the liberal mindset, if all the people sitting behind “Trump’s guy” were white, then Trump is a racist. If all the people sitting behind “Trump’s guy” were black, then Trump is a racist. Doesn’t matter what Trump does, says, preaches, or stands for….in a liberal’s world, Trump is a racist. That’s all they got…the not-so-original-worn-out race card.

  14. Every time the news flashed on the Gorsuch hearings, this young black woman sitting behind him was obviously obvious! She gazed upon him like he was some kind of God, never taking her adoring eyes off of him for a second! She was clearly planted there to sway everyone’s opinion of this man. I thought she was absolutely hysterical. Even his wife didn’t look at him with such infatuation. It did not surprise me that she worked in Mitch McConnells office – the biggest jerk in Congress. Conservatives are so proud of her! Imagine! A beautiful black woman – and on our side! I was waiting for her to kneel down beside him and kiss his hand. Ridiculous Republican bullshit.