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President Trump Chooses Supporter of Big-Money Politics for Supreme Court

January 31, 2017 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington, D.C. — Instead of choosing a Supreme Court justice who will ensure everyone has an equal say in government, President Donald Trump has chosen someone with a troubling history of putting the privileges of the wealthy and well-connected first, according to money-in-politics watchdog Every Voice.

Statement from Every Voice President and CEO David Donnelly on Trump’s choice of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court:

“A Supreme Court nomination says a lot about what a president thinks about America’s future. With his actions of the past week and the selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump is offering a vision of a ‘gated American democracy’ that shuts out the voiceless and privileges the few over the many. America is strongest when our democracy is expansive and welcoming, not shrinking or shuttered.

“Specifically, Judge Gorsuch has a short but troubling history when it comes to issues of money in politics. Instead of defending the rights of everyday people to be heard in our elections, he is supportive of a legal standard that could lead to the end of contribution limits, an important tool to ensure wealthy donors and special interests can’t be an unchecked force in our elections. He has regularly sided with corporations and against working Americans, in court decisions and as an attorney for the Chamber of Commerce arguing against accountability for securities fraud.

“Trump has already shown contempt for core American values by spreading dangerous lies about voter fraud, attacking the freedoms of immigrants and refugees, and firing public servants who dare to challenge him. That’s why it’s more crucial than ever that Judge Gorsuch is thoroughly scrutinized by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he makes clear that he believes the Constitution protects the rights of all people to be heard in our democracy, not just the wealthy and well-connected. 

“While the Roberts Court has split five to four on money-in-politics cases, from Citizens United to Arizona Free Enterprise, the country isn’t so closely split. A broad majority of Americans see the power of big money in our political system as a problem and believe that the Constitution protects all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful. From what we have seen so far, we fear Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court is out of touch with the American values of equality and inclusion and would weaken our democracy.

If Judge Gorsuch cannot promise to stand with the people over big donors, or if further troubling information emerges about his record on an inclusive democracy, Every Voice will oppose his nomination and urge the Senate to reject it. Americans need and deserve a Supreme Court that will act as the last line of defense from wealthy special interests and unaccountable politicians.”

For more information on Judge Gorsuch’s record on money in politics, please see this issue brief from Demos.

Tonight, Every Voice will begin educating its 100,000 activists and 150,000 social media followers about Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court and what’s at stake.

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Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone.