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With Rules Change, Senate Republicans Hand Gift to Billionaires and Corporate Interests

April 6, 2017 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington, D.C. — Money in politics watchdog Every Voice released the following statement on Senate Republican’s decision to change the rules for Supreme Court nominations.

Statement from David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice:

“Today’s action by Senate Republicans is a gift to the billionaires and corporate interests trying to buy policies that will pollute our water, take health insurance away from millions of hard-working Americans, and help Wall Street banks cheat people out of their savings. Let’s be clear: Neil Gorsuch will be another vote on the Supreme Court to empower the powerful and make it harder for everyday people to be heard in our elections, and Senate Republicans just broke the rules to make it happen.

“Republicans should be ashamed of choosing to change the rules instead of changing the nominee to someone who can unequivocally commit to forwarding the American ideal of government of, by, and for the people.”

Gorsuch’s record on money in politics is thin, but troubling. He believes corporations are people, an extension of Citizens United, and has suggested giving contribution limits a higher level of constitutional scrutiny than is usually afforded the right to vote. He would likely be the deciding vote on the Court for removing remaining protections against the dominance of big donors in our elections.

At his hearing, after several questions from multiple Senators on cases like Citizens United, Gorsuch did nothing to alleviate concerns that he’d give big donors more power in our elections if confirmed to the court. If anything, the hearings showed he’d be even more extreme than the late Justice Scalia on things like political spending disclosure.

In addition to the 20 senators who cited Gorsuch’s views on money in politics as a reason for their opposition, over 120 democracy, civil rights, environmental, labor, and other organizations including Every Voice urged senators to focus on this record at his hearing. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and 110 of his House colleagues also sent a letter to the Senate urging a thorough investigation of his views on money in politics.

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Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone. Learn more at everyvoice.org.