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First and foremost, the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss for our country. She was an extraordinary champion of equal rights and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.
That said, the right thing to do here is obvious, and that is to wait for whoever wins the presidential election to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice.
Unfortunately, we’ve already heard from Mitch McConnell that he has decided to go against Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish — and his own words from 2016 — in order to bring a judge nominated by Trump to the floor of the United States Senate.
McConnell’s goal, maybe above all others, is to pack the courts with partisan ideologues who will protect corporations at the expense of workers, will suppress people’s right to vote, and will allow the wealthy to buy our elections. And make absolutely no mistake about it, if he gets his way in this Supreme Court fight, that will be the end of Roe v. Wade.
Thankfully, not all Republicans agree with Mitch McConnell, especially if their past words from 2016 are any guide:
Senator Lindsey Graham
“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president 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.”
Senator Ted Cruz
“It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.”
Senator Cory Gardner
“I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.”
Senator Marco Rubio
“I don’t think we should be moving on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term — I would say that if it was a Republican president .”
Senator Rob Portman
“It is common practice for the Senate to stop acting on lifetime appointments during the last year of a presidential term, and it’s been nearly 80 years since any president was permitted to immediately fill a vacancy that arose in a presidential election year.”
And a number of senators have weighed in even more recently:
Senator Lisa Murkowski, just yesterday:
“I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election.”
Senator Chuck Grassley in May:
“You can’t have one rule for Democratic presidents and another rule for Republican presidents.”
Senator Susan Collins very recently:
“I think that’s too close, I really do,” when asked about appointing a justice in October.
Every issue we care about is at stake: abortion rights, campaign finance reform, voting rights, workers’ rights, health care, LGBTQ rights, climate change, environmental rights, gun safety and more.
Together we must do everything we can to hold the House, flip the Senate, and defeat Donald Trump. But now we also must do all we can to hold Mitch McConnell and many Republican senators to the word and let the winner of the next presidential election nominate Justice Ginsburg’s replacement.