U.S. SENATE News:
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen Tom Udall (D-NM) and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) released the statements after President Trump announced Monday he is nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court:
“It is the Senate’s constitutional duty to advise and consent on Supreme Court nominees. But after Mitch McConnell made a mockery of the Supreme Court nomination process in 2016, the only advice and consent that Donald Trump has sought out is from the extreme, right-wing groups who hand-picked this nominee. The president pulled Judge Kavanaugh’s name from a pre-approved list concocted by radical, far-right special interests that are committed to undermining a woman’s right to choose, health care protections, safeguards for workers and seniors, LGBTQ rights, and a host of other critical public protections that touch the lives of every New Mexican and every American. These extreme groups put Judge Kavanaugh’s name on their list for a reason.
“The majority leader has crippled the advice and consent process, and the president has farmed out the selection of his Supreme Court nominee to far-right interest groups. The result is that the majority of the country is being left with no voice on an appointment that could span decades and reshape the Court as we know it. Instead of doing the bidding of the most extreme special interests and playing to his base, the president should have lived up to the responsibilities of his office and nominated a mainstream justice who would represent the views of the majority of Americans – even those who may have voted against the president.
“The Senate has a constitutional responsibility to act as a coequal branch of government when it comes to the highest court in the land. We should not consider this nomination legitimate until we return to a real advice and consent process as required by the Constitution.”
“At a time when our democratic institutions are under attack – from undermining the free press to foreign influence in our elections – I refuse to legitimize the broken system Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has created on President Trump’s behalf. We need to remedy both the political obstruction and broken rules that have led us into this terrible mess before confirming anymore nominees that will be tainted by it.
“Given the divisive climate in Washington, an independent judiciary is more important than ever and fundamental to the health of our democracy. That is why any nomination to our courts should require input from both parties and represent the kind of consensus that can see us through these turbulent political times.”