NCLR says Senate Republicans changed rules “to let themselves win and the American people lose”

(April 6, 2017 San Francisco)— Today, Senate Republicans upended years of tradition for the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process. After Trump nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch failed to garner the sixty votes needed, Senate Republicans took a radical step. Rather than requiring President Trump to select a nominee who could meet the 60-vote threshold needed as part of our established U.S. Supreme Court Justice confirmation process, Senate Republicans voted to change the rules of the Senate from a 60-vote threshold to a simple majority. Republicans believe that this change will allow them to skirt significant opposition to this nominee in the Senate, potentially confirming Gorsuch in a vote scheduled for tomorrow.

National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. issued the following statement in response:

“Today, Senate Republicans threw a political tantrum that could jeopardize the future of core constitutional rights for women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and others. Rather than accepting loss, Senate Republicans changed the rules in an effort to let themselves win and the American people lose.

Judge Neil Gorsuch has criticized minority groups for seeking to vindicate their constitutional rights in the courts. Described as more conservative than the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Neil Gorsuch has also written opinions stating that religion can serve as a justification for discrimination, which is particularly dangerous for the future of women’s health and LGBTQ rights. His extreme anti-minority views have no place on the U.S. Supreme Court—especially not for potentially decades to come through a lifetime appointment. This is a dismal day for all who care about the integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court and our core constitutional values.”