For Immediate Release: September 25, 2020
The American people should decide who nominates the next Supreme Court justice—we can’t allow Trump and Senate Republicans to undermine our democracy
Washington, DC—According to news reports, President Donald Trump plans to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, a judge known to stridently oppose reproductive freedom, to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. News of the nomination for the lifetime position on the bench comes just 39 days before Election Day, and as Americans have already begun voting for the presidency. Rather than let the American people decide, Trump and Mitch McConnell are teeing up one of the most rushed confirmation processes in history in a massive power grab and affront to our democracy.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response:
“This nomination is an attack on our very democracy. Trump and McConnell are pushing this process even though voters are already casting ballots in states around the country. The American people must decide who gets to fill this vacancy on the highest Court in the land. Our lives are on the line. If confirmed, Barrett will cement Trump’s supermajority against keeping abortion legal, protecting healthcare access, safeguarding our right to vote, and so many other questions of fundamental freedom and justice. Make no mistake: Senate Republicans’ willingness to go back on their word and confirm a justice this close to the election is all about cementing their control, riling up their base ahead of the election, and installing one of their own on the bench in case of a contested election. The entire charade is un-American.
Amy Coney Barrett’s record tracks with Trump’s promises in the 2016 election—a nominee who would be a sure vote to end legal abortion in this country. Her positions show she is a clear and present threat to reproductive freedom and the promise of Roe. Every body should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies, their families, and their lives, free from political interference. Hostility to abortion access and antipathy to the idea that we must all be free to make our own decisions is an indicator for hostility towards other crucial forms of social progress including gender justice, racial justice, economic justice, and LGBTQ rights. The Federalist Society knows that and so do Trump and McConnell—Barrett’s record is the case in point of their quest for control. We stand united in doing everything we can to stop this power grab that will hurt so many in a time of great pain.
The fact that the Republican Party is moving this nomination forward while the pandemic continues to ravage American lives and economic well-being—and while evidence has never been more clear that a majority of Americans support the legal right to abortion and will vote that way—shows an appalling lack of focus on the priority of what voters want and need in this moment. Senators who support this move and use the Court as a tool for an undemocratic and oppressive agenda will feel their own pain at the ballot box in November.”
Trump made a promise to the Radical Right to only consider jurists hostile to reproductive freedom—a vow he ran on in 2016 and doubled down on in a recent campaign letter to the anti-choice movement. It’s no surprise that Amy Coney Barrett has an extreme record that falls in line with that commitment. She has suggested that Roe v. Wade is an “erroneous decision, stated that life begins at conception, sided with states trying to restrict abortion access, and joined anti-choice groups in voicing opposition to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. Numerous activists hostile to abortion consulted with Trump on his strategy for this nomination, and have publicly praised Barrett.
This nomination is just the latest effort in the Radical Right’s coordinated campaign to take over our courts, systematically laying the groundwork to halt progress, end Roe, and push ahead their agenda of power and control. Trump rode to power thanks in part to a boost from the Radical Right, and he has diligently worked to pay off that debt by nominating Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Court, tipping its balance to an anti-choice, anti-freedom majority that has put reproductive freedom on the line like never before.
Even amid a pandemic that has taken the lives of over 200,000 Americans, Senate Republicans remain laser-focused on prioritizing the confirmation of Trump’s judicial nominees rather than our health and well-being. Mitch McConnell has even said he would “leave no vacancy behind” and that “the pandemic will not prevent us from achieving that goal.” But they are doing so against a stark backdrop, as support for Roe is the highest it has been in decades: 77% of Americans support the legal right to abortion and do not want to see Roe overturned.
Given the opportunity, Trump and the Radical Right will continue to wreak havoc on every level of the judicial branch—including the Supreme Court. That’s why NARAL Pro-Choice America has embarked on its largest-ever electoral program for the 2020 election, investing $34.7 million toward an integrated organizing, communications, digital, and political program designed to win races up and down the ballot and reach 3.6 million voters in key states. Through this unprecedented investment, NARAL is employing an array of tactics aimed toward reaching, persuading, and mobilizing key voter segments who will be essential to win critical races.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.