HRC Says Next President Should Fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Vacancy

Mon. September 21, 2020 8:53 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, is calling on Senate leaders to wait on filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after voters have weighed in.

Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87 after a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Known as "Notorious RBG" among progressives, Ginsburg was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1993. During her tenure, she championed LGBT rights.

(Related: LGBT groups, Pete Buttigieg, Megan Rapinoe, Tim Cook mourn loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)

During President Barack Obama's last year in office, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, saying that the voters needed to weigh in first. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, suddenly died on February 13, 2016, roughly eight-and-a-half months before the general election.

In a statement, HRC President Alphonso David said that the Senate and the White House must wait until after Inauguration Day to proceed with a nominee.

"Rushing a far-right nominee through a divisive, sham confirmation process before voters have spoken will only undermine both the legislative and judicial branches, and cause irreparable harm to our democracy," David said. "Under no circumstances should we take away voters' right to make this choice by nominating, holding hearings for or confirming any judicial nominee before Inauguration Day."

"Every advancement the LGBTQ community made at the Court over the last 20 years reflected Justice Ginsburg's influence. From Lawrence to Obergefell and Bostock, the Court has been essential to creating a more equal and fair America for LGBTQ people," he said, referring to cases that ended the criminalization of gay sex, struck down state laws and constitutional amendments that defined marriage as a heterosexual union, and expanded the definition of sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation in federal law, respectively.

"But this fight is not ours alone. We proudly stand alongside our partners in the racial justice, reproductive rights, and immigrant rights movements and will fight like hell because our lives depend on ensuring we protect Justice Ginsburg's legacy and install a true ally for freedom, justice and equality on the Court. Only together, united, can we defeat this president and his attempts to roll back our progress," David said.

LGBT legal group GLAD echoed David's sentiment in a tweet.

"As we mourn her passing and recognize her extraordinary legacy, we must also honor her dying wish that no move be made to replace her on the Court until the next presidential term begins," the group said. "We owe Justice Ginsburg and our country that much, for her incredible contribution to moving us closer to the nation of equals we aspire to be."

This article appeared at On Top Magazine and has been published here with permission.

 

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