WASHINGTON, DC -- Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), issued the following statement following President Trump's announcement of his SCOTUS nominee:
President Trump's Supreme Court nomination comes one day after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lay in state at the U.S. Capitol. As we mourn her passing, we should honor her last wish that her replacement be appointed by whomever will serve as president next year.
The constitutional responsibilities to nominate and confirm appointments to the Supreme Court are sacred duties that President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are abusing for political opportunity. The American people have not forgotten that after Justice Scalia died in February 2016, McConnell refused to act on President Obama's nomination nearly eight months before Election Day. At the time, McConnell insisted: "The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let's give them a voice. Let's let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be." With only 38 days before Election Day and early voting already underway in multiple states, McConnell and Trump are ignoring the voice of the people and speeding the process in hopes of political gain.
The president's swift nomination and McConnell's plans to rush this process in October are offensive given the four months since the House passed the HEROES Act, during which they have stalled helping the American people who are suffering from the health and economic impact of a global pandemic that has taken the lives of 200,000 Americans.
It is particularly concerning that the president's nominee is expected to be a dependable vote against the Affordable Care Act and Americans' right to health care. This is unacceptable at a time when the president's failure to lead has resulted in seven million COVID-19 cases, which as a newly acquired pre-existing condition, could put those Americans at risk of losing health care or losing access altogether. The nominee's opposition to a woman's right to choose also puts Roe v. Wade at risk, threatening the rights of women for generations. More than six months ago, the House passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, to increase background checks on gun sales. The nominee's record of supporting gun ownership by convicted felons would further weaken existing background checks and endanger more lives every day.
We will not just honor the dying wish of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a trailblazer and stalwart for women's rights, we will fight for democracy and the rights of the people to make their voices heard in the election by doing everything in our power to put the responsibility for the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice in the hands of the president in 2021.