Senator Charles E. Schumer
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301
New York, NY 10017
via U.S. Mail and Email
RE: The Supreme Court of the United States
Dear Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer,
The current administration and the Republicans in Congress who have refused to hold them accountable have chosen their grasp on power over the rule of law, the protection of our democracy, and the American people at every turn over the last four years, and are set to continue in this vein now that there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. We implore you to be vigilant and to lead the fight to preserve the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
The legitimacy of the court has already been badly damaged. The refusal of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow the Senate to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill Associate Justice’s Scalia’s seat in 2016, followed by the rancorous appointment of Associate Justice Kavanaugh, undermined the reputation of the court. Senator McConnell’s blatant hypocrisy following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg confirms his desire to solidify minority conservative power on the court with complete disregard for the Constitutional mandate to maintain the Supreme Court as an apolitical body.
In the lead up to what will likely be a contentious election that may require resolution by the Supreme Court, allowing an overtly partisan nominee a seat on the court will undermine both the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and the legitimacy of the election and further imperil our democracy.
We, the undersigned Indivisible grassroots organizations, write to urge you to support the principles outlined below.
- Democrats must refuse to hold any hearings or confirm any new justice until after the inauguration of the next president–and they should publicly say so, right now.
- Senate Democrats must commit to use every single procedural tool available to delay proceedings and block any nominee to the Supreme Court until after the inauguration in 2021.
- If Senator McConnell succeeds in installing a new Supreme Court Justice before the inauguration of the President in 2021, there must be clear consequences to ensure a more balanced court, including expansion of the Supreme Court. These consequences must be explicitly communicated now.
In order to achieve this we ask that you build a united coalition of Democrats, within the Senate Democratic Caucus and the entire New York Congressional Delegation, in concert with all House Democrats, to establish the party’s power. It is essential that every party member agree on the messaging today to get ahead of the public narrative too often warped by this President and supported by Senate Republicans. It’s time for Democrats to play offense and steer the conversation in mainstream media, on social media channels, with your constituents, and especially in the chamber.
Our network of Indivisible groups within New York State is vast and motivated. It is no secret we are built on progressive values, and our membership is dedicated to holding our elected officials accountable through direct action and mobilization. We urge you to hold a town hall with us to hear our concerns as well as our collective goals, and to let us know how we can help. We refuse to sit this one out.
Our democracy was in peril long before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The fact that her death potentially means the death of our democracy is proof of just how fragile our democracy has become. Our collective actions in this matter must value and protect the interests of all U.S. citizens rather than advance the interests of any political party.
We are here to help you use your position to advance a progressive agenda and encumber the party of Trump. In addition to the request for a public town hall, we respectfully request that you commit to a virtual meeting with a small group of regional representatives from New York State’s Indivisible network before the end of this month to prepare for the fight ahead.