National Urban League President Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh:
“If President Trump’s last Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is any indication, his latest pick in Brett Kavanaugh will do the civil rights community no favors. Judge Kavanaugh has a record of ruling against affordable healthcare and women’s reproductive rights. Particularly troubling is his record on cases involving racial and workforce discrimination. Seating a Supreme Court nominee with an obvious disdain for fundamental liberties will change American life as we know it.
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“That aside, no president who is currently under investigation, suggested pardoning himself if indicted, and challenged the legality of subpoenas issued to him, should be allowed to select the Supreme Court Justice who may cast the deciding vote in his criminal probe.
“While it is the duty of a president to nominate justices to fill vacancies on the Court, the U.S. Senate is not required to act on or confirm the president’s nominee–as we saw when President Obama selected Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia.
“The Supreme Court plays a key role as a backstop when other mechanisms for justice fall short or fail to protect people’s civil and human rights. It is unconscionable that this president, with a cloud of criminality hovering over him, would be allowed to stack the bench in his favor, effectively becoming judge and juror.
“The Framers of the Constitution expected the members of the U.S. Senate to exercise their best judgment regarding lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest court–not to play games or politics, which is what the president is doing here.
“We urge the Senate to prevent further erosion to our democracy and reject considering any of Trump’s nominees until the special counsel’s investigation into the president’s election and administration concludes.”