WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court:
“This vacancy is a disaster for everyone who believes in the ‘We the People’ vision of the Constitution. If the Senate confirms one of the names from the Federalist Society’s list of extreme jurists that Donald Trump said he will use to fill this seat, our country’s most fundamental values will remain under attack for decades to come.
“So much is at stake in this battle. We stand on the precipice of going back to a time in our history—many decades ago—when women’s access to contraception or abortion is limited by what politicians and bosses say is ok. And so many of the other core issues of our time—from money in politics, to the power of big corporations to prey on consumers and workers, to marriage equality, to voting rights, gerrymandering, and more—hang in the balance.
“With so much at stake, with a President being actively investigated for possible collusion with a foreign power, and especially in light of the precedent-shattering theft of the previous vacant seat, it would be deeply inappropriate to fill this vacancy before the November elections. Americans across the nation will go to the polls this November to choose a vision for our country. Once their votes have been cast and a new Congress has been seated, we can debate what to do with this vacancy—then, and not a moment before.”