Bernie Sanders: No SCOTUS vote until the people vote
The Supreme Court is the most important judicial body in the country. The decisions it reaches impact all Americans, even the ones that end up five votes to four.
Since the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, the court has taken a radical rightward turn. In the past 72 hours alone, it sided with big money interests against working people in an effort to destroy the union movement in this country. And it affirmed the president's Muslim ban and chose fear, racism and xenophobia over the American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance.
Those decisions, both 5-4 votes, were only possible because of the unprecedented actions of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny President Obama's nominee a vote ahead of the 2016 elections. He did it because, in his own words, "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice."
Now that Justice Kennedy will retire at the end of July, Mitch McConnell should remember those words. And our job right now is to make sure he does, and to make it clear the American people want a say in Justice Kennedy's replacement.
The truth is, the American people deserve a Supreme Court justice who respects the rights of workers instead of bowing down to big business. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality in this country, we need a court that will protect workers' rights and not just concern themselves with corporate profits.
The American people deserve a Supreme Court that will move us back in the direction of one person, one vote and stop our slide into an oligarchy, in which the political life in this country is increasingly controlled by a handful of billionaire families. I fear that President Trump's next Supreme Court nominee would take the disastrous Citizens United decision even further by supporting the elimination of all restrictions on campaign finance, effectively allowing billionaires to contribute unlimited sums to candidates.
We also cannot risk a Supreme Court that would put in jeopardy the privacy rights of all Americans and a woman's right to control her own body. Reproductive rights in this country are at risk. Despite overwhelming opposition from the American people I believe there is a very strong chance President Trump's next nominee would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. We cannot allow that to happen.
The Supreme Court also recently sided with those who want to make it harder for people to vote. In the year 2018, it should not be too much to ask for people to be able to vote without harassment. Our job should be to make it easier for people to participate in the electoral process, not harder.
Now, the Koch brothers immediately pledged to spend more than seven figures pressuring Democrats into supporting President Trump's nominee.
This time, we must be united, from the start, that there can be no vote on ANY nominee until the American people have had their chance to make their voices heard.
I believe most Americans want a Supreme Court that will stand up for civil liberties, constitutional rights, workers' rights, environmental rights and women's rights.
By now we know that is not what we will get from Donald Trump's nominee. And I believe the American people have a right to make their voices heard about that at the ballot box in November.
Please sign my petition: Tell the U.S. Senate that we should not vote on any potential Supreme Court justice until after the American people have had a chance to vote in November and a new Senate is sworn in next January.