WASHINGTON — Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on today’s historic vote for D.C. statehood in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON – On a press call today, civil rights advocates urged the Senate to reject Cory Wilson’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The full Senate will vote on his confirmation tomorrow.
Donald Trump and the Senate are completely out touch with the nation’s real needs.
Our response to COVID-19 and structural racism, along with a looming election, define who we are as a nation. The American people are in the streets meeting this unprecedented moment to call for justice. Meanwhile, many of our nation’s leaders are failing to act.
“The calls for justice could not be clearer: our leaders must respond to the killing of Black people by police officers and the devastating disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on communities of color. Leader McConnell is not only ignoring these calls, he is doubling down on his effort to entrench his agenda to roll back hard-fought civil rights progress. McConnell is insisting the Senate install his friend, Justin Walker, to a seat on the important D.C. Circuit. His urgency in doing this is fake – he is rushing to fill a lifetime seat that does not become vacant for months.
The House-passed COVID-19 relief package answers the call of civil rights groups to lift and protect the hardest hit communities and our democratic institutions as this pandemic continues to wreak havoc on economic security, health, families, and lives. It is now up to the Senate to act.
“It’s irresponsible that Chairman Graham convened the committee to continue churning out Trump and McConnell’s extreme judicial nominees while ignoring the devastating shock this pandemic is having on our country. As too many people need more relief, it is shameful that the Senate is spending time on a nominee like Schwartz, who has dedicated his career to defending some of the most extreme voting rights restrictions and anti-LGBTQ measures. His recently revealed offensive college writings make clear that his beliefs extend well beyond his legal arguments.
On Wednesday, May 6 at 11 AM, Senators and advocates for health care, civil rights, and justice will hold a digital rally against the nomination of Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit. The rally will immediately follow his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Walker praised Brett Kavanaugh for having written the “roadmap” to overturn the Affordable Care Act and scorned the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the law as “indefensible” and “catastrophic.” Walker also supports broad executive power, and would be poised to shield Donald Trump from the scrutiny of congressional oversight. Senate Republicans are nevertheless risking the safety of their colleagues, Senate staff, and the public to push through his nomination in the middle of a pandemic.
In March, as congressional leaders worked to reach a deal on a COVID-19 relief package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut down the Senate so he could attend the swearing-in ceremony for his political protégé, Justin Walker, who was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky last October.