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Trump and Senate Republicans Must Change The Nominee, Not the Rules

April 6, 2017 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington, D.C. — Money-in-politics watchdog Every Voice released the following statement on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s failure to gather the 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture on his nomination.

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

“Americans deserve a Supreme Court that is in our corner, not one that repeatedly rules to give the wealthy and corporations even more power in our democracy.

“The last thing Americans want at this critical juncture is another Supreme Court justice who will give the wealthiest among us more power to influence our elections while drowning out the voices of everyone else. Judge Gorsuch has a troubling record on money in politics and he refused to answer basic questions about bedrock principles of American democracy during his confirmation hearings. We praise Senate Democrats for doing the right thing in refusing to move forward with his confirmation.

“President Donald Trump ran on a promise to reduce the power of wealthy special interests in our government, and instead he put forward a Supreme Court nominee hand-picked by wealthy special interests.

“Instead of kowtowing to the billionaires and special interest donors backing Gorsuch’s nomination, Senate Republicans and President Trump should now go back to the drawing board and pick a consensus, mainstream candidate who can reach the 60-vote threshold. They should find a nominee who agrees with the majority of Americans that our Constitution protects the rights of everyone to be heard, no matter the size of your bank account.

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.