(UPDATED October 19, 2020): Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee rammed through rush committee hearings on Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s extremist nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, despite the fact that we are already in the middle of a presidential election: By the time Committee Chair Lindsay Graham pushed through approval, more than 17 million ballots across 44 states and the District of Columbia had already been cast in the 2020 election. And this was during a week when several senators – including NC Senator Thom Tillis – were being treated for Covid, and Mitch McConnell considered it unsafe to meet and closed down the Senate. Today, the Senate re-opens, and McConnell intends to call a floor vote on Barrett’s nomination this week.
Barrett’s record on reproductive rights is clear and shocking, and her answers (and refusals to answer) during last week’s sham hearings in the Judiciary Committee, clear make her a dangerous choice. During last week’s hearings, Barrett claimed that Roe v. Wade is NOT settled law, refused to say if the protecting access to birth control was rightly decided, refused to say if it would be constitutional to criminalize in vitro fertilization, called climate science “controversial,” and declined to say whether Medicare was legal.
(Original Action Alert, September 20, 2020):
Write and call Senators Burr and Tillis and demand that they stick to the pledge they made in 2016 NOT to confirm any nominee for the Supreme Court during an election.
In March of 2016, Thom Tillis said: “While President Obama is entitled to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court, the Senate has made it clear it will be exercising its Constitutional authority to withhold consent of the nomination. We are in the middle of a presidential election, and the Senate majority is giving the American people a voice to determine the direction of the Supreme Court. … We will not hold hearings on any Supreme Court nominee until after our next President is sworn in.” (March 16, 2016)
At that same time Richard Burr stated: “The American people deserve a voice in the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. This appointment could easily tip the balance of the court in a direction not supported by the American people.” (March 16, 2016)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” (Feb. 13. 2016)
And the Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham said: “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president [elected] in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.” (2016) “If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election.” (2018)
Those were the rules they insisted on in February of an election year, when primaries had just begun. We are now already in a general election, when half of the states have already started voting.
McConnell, Graham, and Tillis have now reneged on their own rules and are trying to rush through a Senate confirmation of an extremist Trump appointee to the Supreme Court, someone who they hope will destroy Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s legacy.
Write and call and tweet at our NC senators, identifying yourself and where you live, demanding that they honor the will of the people and REFUSE to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice until the new president is inaugurated, whoever that may be. Tell them: “The American people deserve to have their voices heard in a decision that can influence our nation for our lifetimes. The general election is already underway. Let the voters decide!”
Sen. Thom Tillis (Judiciary Committee Member)
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Sen. Richard Burr
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Mitch McConnell (KY) and Lindsay Graham (SC) don’t directly represent us in North Carolina, but in McConnell’s role as the Senate Majority Leader and Graham’s as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, their actions – and misdeeds – affect all Americans. So contact them as well, demanding that they play by their own rules and REFUSE to confirm a new justice until after the 2021 inauguration. Remind them of their own rules they established in 2016 for exactly this situation. Quote their own pledges back to them, and demand that they act accordingly.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Sen. Lindsey Graham, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510