WASHINGTON — This evening President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. The nomination comes a week after Justice Ginsburg died and only 38 days before the general election, as early voting in a number of states is underway.
The following is a statement from SPLC Action Fund President and CEO Margaret Huang:
“Let’s be clear: this nomination should not belong to Trump or Republicans in the Senate, and the majority of Americans agree. Their hypocrisy in disregarding their own recent past precedent is an unseemly power grab, ignoring the will of the people and our democratic system of checks and balances. Their actions threaten to diminish faith in the Court for years to come.
“We are living in unprecedented times. This week America marked a grim milestone when the COVID-19 death toll passed 200,000. At the same time, millions remain unemployed, with countless families facing a financial precipice like we have not seen in generations. But instead of addressing the most pressing issues facing our country, President Trump and Republican Senators are ignoring the devastation around us and, instead, mustering their Senate majority to ram through a lifetime-tenured Supreme Court nominee whose past record raises serious doubts about whether she can be trusted to safeguard the rights of everyone in the United States.
“The fast-track confirmation Republicans have put in place for Judge Barrett is not necessary. It not only shows their hypocrisy but it is also clear evidence of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s real priority — to push through judicial nominations before emergency relief, the federal budget or any other urgent need. We will not forget this corrupt action — and neither will the American people.
“It’s troubling but not surprising that President Trump has weaponized this nomination to seek political advantage without regard to what’s at stake for Americans. Millions of us will be in peril of losing access to healthcare and equal justice, funding for public education, voting rights, and protections for immigrant communities and lower-income Americans.
“Seven months before the 2016 general election, Senator McConnell tweeted ‘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.’ Today, as early voting across the country continues, merely 38 days to go before Election Day, we couldn’t agree more.”