Progressive Women of Pelham have written to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York to urge strong and immediate leadership following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“We are calling upon the Senate Minority Leader to lead the Democratic party, proactively and decisively, and to deliver the message to Senate republicans that with just 43 days until the Presidential and Congressional elections take place, there will not be enough time for the Senate to discharge its Constitutional duty to advise and consent on any nomination for Supreme Court Justice. Democrats must declare that no nominee may be considered,” said Executive Director Paula Wood.
“Article II requires the Senate to “advise and consent” on Supreme Court nominations. The established process to discharge this duty requires inquiry and consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has always included an information gathering stage executed by the FBI, followed by Committee meetings and then hearings before a nomination can go forward for a vote by the entire Senate,” says Progressive Women of Pelham’s Policy Director Deborah Lowery Knapp.
“This is a constitutionally mandated process,” says Legal Advisor Solange Hansen, “in the ordinary course of discharging this duty, the process for advice and consent has consumed several months, on average 70 days and often longer. By the time a nomination is received, there will at most be just 42 days before the President and the current members of the Senate are decided upon by the People, followed by a lame-duck session.”
If the President and Senate attempt to subvert the will of the People, Progressive Women of Pelham urges Democrats to democratize the selection process to achieve equal representation. According to Communications Director Liz Massie, “any attempt to confirm a nomination before the election or in a lame duck session after the election must be followed by democratic action to rectify this subversion of Constitutional duty, and increase representation on the Court.”
Says Deborah Lowery Knapp, “Progressive Women of Pelham contends that there can be no confirmation before the inauguration. We expect our leader in the Senate to unite the Democratic delegation on this point, and to be forthright and steadfast in holding Republican Senators to the Constitutionally-mandated process for Senate advice and consent on Supreme Court appointments and to promise and deliver consequences for any failure to abide by that process.”