Press Releases

In Letter, CBC Urges Senators to Oppose Nomination of Judge Gorsuch

CBC Also Urges Senators to Oppose Any Other Nomination to SCOTUS until Independent Commission Investigates Russian Interference

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Washington, DC, April 4, 2017 | comments

Today, the CBC sent a letter to Senators urging them to oppose the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on the merits, and to oppose any other nomination to the Supreme Court until an independent commission has a chance to investigate Russian interference into the 2016 Presidential Election, as well as any and all ties between President Trump and his Administration and the Kremlin. A copy of the letter is attached. Excerpts from the letter are below.
 
“As Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), I write on behalf of the Caucus and the 78 million Americans and 17 million African Americans we collectively represent. The CBC strongly opposes the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve as Associate Justice in the United States Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch’s record, which is hostile to African Americans, workers, and women, does not merit the support of the CBC or the United States Senate. Moreover, there is increasing concern around Russian interference into the 2016 Presidential Election, as well as the ties between our current president and the Kremlin. I strongly urge you to oppose the Gorsuch nomination on the merits, and any other nomination to the Supreme Court until an independent commission has had an opportunity to investigate this serious matter.”
 
Voting Rights
 
“…Gorsuch has taken positions of particular concern to the African American community. For example, while Gorsuch does not have much of a record on voting rights, his approach to equal protection matters are forecast by his time at the Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2005 to 2006. Gorsuch was the Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General, who managed litigation in the Civil Rights Division. In 2005, as part of the Voting Rights Act preclearance process, lawyers from the Civil Rights Division initially rejected a strict voter ID law in Georgia, arguing it would likely discriminate against Black and other minority voters. Unfortunately, their superiors at DOJ overruled them and cleared the law, which was later halted by a district court judge who compared it to a Jim Crow-era poll tax. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder invalidating the preclearance formula of the Voting Rights Act, more than a dozen states have enacted voting restrictions, ranging from strict photo identification requirements, to early voting cutbacks and registration restrictions. This makes the Supreme Court all the more important to ensuring all Americans have access to the ballot. At this crucial period for voting rights, the country cannot afford another justice who does not perceive a discriminatory motive in voter suppression laws.”
 
Police Accountability
 
“Gorsuch also has a concerning record with regards to police accountability. In Wilson v. City of Lafayette, he argued that a police officer was entitled to qualified immunity from a Section 1983 excessive force claim arising when his use of a stun gun resulted in the death of a 22-year old fleeing arrest. In that case, Ryan Wilson was shot in the head with a stun gun, which was held from a distance of 10 to 15 feet. The shot to Mr. Wilson’s head was contrary to the police department’s training manual, which the dissent cited. The increasing visibility of officer-involved shootings, particularly of young, unarmed, Black men, has garnered national attention and bipartisan support for reforms that hold police accountable and help bridge the gap between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. A Supreme Court Justice who argues for immunity for police officers accused of excessive force not only denies justice to the families of victims, but threatens efforts to address this national issue.”

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