Don’t Destabilize Nation’s Highest Court With Politicized Pre-Election Confirmation

Target, Lindsey Graham, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Goal: Do not hold confirmation hearings to fill Supreme Court vacancy before election.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has devolved into a nasty partisan fight with politicians trying to use this tragedy for their own gain before her body is even cold. This vacancy is of particular importance because the judge who ultimately this seat could change the fundamental makeup of the court—and shatter its essential balance—for decades to come. The implications are massive and do not just impact one issue but could upend every category of rights and activism fought for on this site.

Advocates often point to the Supreme Court’s potential to shake up the abortion debate. While women’s reproductive rights are most definitely at stake, other issues of critical importance to all Americans will be in play as well. For example, the Supreme Court is expected to take up provisions of the Affordable Care Act once again. If this law is ultimately struck down by a tilted Court, millions of Americans will lose protections for preexisting conditions and overall healthcare in the midst of a global pandemic. In addition, numerous challenges to rollbacks of the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other wholesale attempts at environmental deregulation could find their way to the nation’s highest court. The impacts of these decisions will have repercussions for countless wildlife, future generations forced to face the challenges of an overheating environment, and the very planet itself. Perhaps most crucially for the politicians trying to ram this deliberative process through at warp-speed, the Supreme Court could ultimately play a prominent role in a disputed election, as it did in the era of President George W. Bush.

The list of seismic ripple effects is virtually endless. Senate Republicans argued strongly that the American people should have a say when a Supreme Court vacancy to be filled by the president opens close to an election. Now, they have done an abrupt about-face. Sign the petition below to hold these hypocritical senators to their word.


Dear Senator Graham,

“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president 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.”

Sound familiar, Senator? The argument about this situation somehow being different than when you blocked President Obama’s nominee for close to a year holds no water. In both cases, an election loomed. The only difference is that in this case the election is weeks, not months, away. The fact that the president and the Senate are of the same party has no relevance when both of those circumstances, and your standing itself, could soon change.

Truthfully, Supreme Court selections should have never been made political by putting the decision in the hands of politicians only looking out for their own interests. Do not debase and demean this important process further by using a woman’s death–a woman whose dying wish was that this deliberative body act in good faith– for a naked power grab. Too much is on the line (from healthcare to environmental protection to civil rights) for the American people not to have their voices heard.

Honor your words and take the toxic politics out of the one branch of government that prides itself on impartiality and needed stability in even the most divisive times.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Phil Roeder

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