Today, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first woman in American history to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. I am filled with gratitude for Justice Ginsburg's extraordinary life that inspired America. For over a quarter of a century, she served on our nation's highest court with conviction and intellect, inspiring generations of women and young girls to stand firm in their fight for equality.
Justice Ginsburg was a champion for women - and all Americans - and an icon whose legacy will endure. Whomever fills her seat on the Supreme Court will have an enormous impact on all of our lives. A majority-conservative Supreme Court risks everything New Mexico values. It places at immediate risk access to affordable health care, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, workers' rights, voting rights, civil rights, addressing climate change, and so much else.
Never in the history of the United States has a Supreme Court vacancy been filled this close to a presidential election. Never. That shouldn't change now. We are barely over a month from the election. Voters in many states have already begun casting their ballots. It is absolutely critical that we honor the final wishes of Justice Ginsburg and fill her seat only after the next president is inaugurated.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set the precedent for this very situation when he blocked Judge Merrick Garland's nomination for 293 days during the 2016 election. Majority Leader McConnell and all Senate Republicans should be held accountable to their own standard. Anything less is hypocrisy at its worst and a grave injustice to the American people.
Senate Republicans' reckless rush to confirm President Trump's nominee to fill Justice Ginsburg's seat also demonstrates just how out of touch their priorities are. Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet and protect their health in the midst of the pandemic. After refusing for months to earnestly negotiate urgent relief measures, Senate Republicans are now ready to move heaven and earth to ram through their Supreme Court pick. It's disgraceful and a true disservice to the people we represent.
I understand if you are feeling despair and powerlessness in the face of all of this injustice. However, I want to remind you that your voice is still one of the most powerful forces in our country. I encourage you to keep letting me know your thoughts on this and other issues. And never stop raising your voice and fighting for our democratic values and principles.
I'm right there with you.
United States Senator