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Rep. Carson Statement on What's at Stake on the Supreme Court

Sep 26, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman André Carson released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to nominate a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just weeks before the upcoming presidential election, while voting is already taking place.   

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been described as a diminutive giant, and there is no doubt that loss has opened a void in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. We owe it to her lifetime and her legacy, to take the time to honor and celebrate her life, but also, to take the time we need to fully mourn her loss.

“Without even speaking of the rank hypocrisy displayed by Republican Senators in their haste to replace Justice Ginsburg, there are even more compelling reasons not to consider any nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court until after the next president is sworn in.  

“Traditionally, and over many decades of precedent, there is an average of at least 65 days that elapse between a vacancy opening up on the U.S. Supreme Court and an announcement of a nominee to fill that vacancy. It has only been 8 days since Justice Ginsburg died, and sadly, she has not even been laid to rest.  And yet, we’re suffering today through this indecent rush to pack ideologues onto the highest court in the land. Traditionally, it takes an average of 141 days from the opening of a vacancy to the confirmation of a replacement -- not the 30 days that the Senate Majority Leader has announced. This unprecedented rush to pack the Court prevents the thorough investigation required before the confirmation of a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

“Traditionally, consideration of a Supreme Court nominee would never occur so close to a presidential election, and certainly never during a presidential election – which is in fact already underway. Americans have already begun to vote for the next president, and their voices MUST be heard. Ramming through a Supreme Court nominee now, in the middle of the election, is in fact, ignoring the voices of American voters.

“Let me be clear: The voices of the American people must be heard before there is any consideration of a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Decent Americans want to honor her dying wish, which is that her replacement be made by the next president.   

“There is so much at stake right now on the rights that matter to every American. The Supreme Court is already scheduled to hear arguments the week after the election on the Trump Administration’s reckless push to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That means, in the middle of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, the President and his allies are trying to pack the Supreme Court to take away the health care of millions of Americans. This president has promised that his Supreme Court nominee will dismantle the ACA, so we must take him at his word. Reproductive health and reproductive rights are also at stake. The president has promised that his nominee will overturn Roe v. Wade, and we must take him at his word. Our health care is on the line, and too many lives hang in the balance. 

“Voting Rights are also at stake. Even before Justice Ginsburg’s passing, this Supreme Court had grown more and more anti-voter, and it has repeatedly made it harder for Americans to exercise their voting rights without discrimination. Since 2013, when they struck down key components of the Voting Rights Act, including Section 5, they opened the door for an onslaught of voting restrictions passed by state legislatures to disenfranchise Black and Brown people. More recently, the Supreme Court allowed a blatantly discriminatory poll tax on formerly incarcerated persons, disenfranchising up to a million people in Florida alone.

“Workers’ rights, disability rights, LGBTQ equality and immigration rights are also on the line. The issue of immigration unfairness is especially important in the face of this administration’s Muslim Ban. Justice Ginsburg strongly opposed Trump’s Muslim Ban in one of her most eloquent dissents. She clearly pointed out the other Justices “turning a blind eye” to the “anti-Muslim animus” articulated by “the phrases of the President and his advisors” that created an “impermissible and discriminatory animus toward Islam and its followers.” Without her voice on the high court to speak up for the rights of the least of these, the voices of every American voter must be heard.    

“President Trump and Senate Republicans are ignoring the dying wishes of Justice Ginsburg, the opinion of most Americans, and years of precedent in a desperate bid to pack the courts to rubberstamp their reckless agenda. This is an insult to our Democracy and a threat to every American. There should be no consideration of a replacement for Justice Ginsburg before the next president is sworn in."