In response to reports of the Senate leadership rushing to consider and confirm a new justice to the Supreme Court of the United States, Abby Maxman, President of Oxfam America, made the following statement:
“The Senate must respect our country’s democratic process and not rush to confirm a new justice ahead of the next presidential inauguration. Americans have already begun to cast their ballots in this crucial election, and their wishes must be respected.
“Never before in US history has the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee while votes were being cast in a presidential election. COVID-19 and its impact on our voting process increases the chance that the outcome of the election itself could be decided at the Supreme Court. This makes it even more inappropriate for the court’s composition to be altered at this moment, raising the specter of an effort to tamper with the levers of our democracy. The American people are in the midst of deciding who should represent them in Congress and the White House. They must be allowed to finish this process before a new justice is rushed through the confirmation process so that they can have their say on who should sit on our nation’s highest court.
“The Senate must finally turn its focus to passing an urgently needed stimulus package to fund life-saving programs that fight COVID-19. Returning to the campaign trail without providing crucial assistance, including assistance for those who can’t put food on the table and funding to ensure every single American can vote safely in 2020, would be a moral failure and a dereliction of duty.
“The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a great loss for our country. The Senate should honor her legacy and uphold the democratic process by waiting to carefully consider her replacement until after Inauguration Day.”