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It is only fair

Just days ago, our country learned of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg is an iconic symbol in the ongoing fight for gender equality in our country. She started her legal career at a time when few women were in the field and excelled, through grit and determination, at every step of the way. This was in spite of the numerous hurdles placed in front of her. She never saw a roadblock she could not leap over. And, importantly, she always turned back around to help remove those barriers for those who would follow her.

Justice Ginsburg’s impact on our judicial system will be long-lasting. While she did not always get it right, her stances on gender equality, on upholding voting rights and the rights of our LGBTQ neighbors, and on protecting access to healthcare made her a stalwart of progressive values. She was known for her fiery dissents, which she understood were important for the future of the law well beyond her own words in any given case.

In many way, Justice Ginsburg’s most valuable contributions came before she joined the Supreme Court. As a litigator and co-founder of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, Ginsburg proffered creative and compelling arguments for gender equity. She used policies that adversely affected men to illustrate her points. She was brilliant and deeply committed to the cause. Because of her, I and many other female attorneys have opportunities in our careers and lives like never before.

While we deeply mourn her loss, Republicans across the country wasted no time in committing to hastily pushing a new nominee through the Senate. When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, our own Senator John Hoeven made it clear that the “people should have a say” in naming a replacement for our nation’s highest court. He stated that the “American people need to have an opportunity to voice their opinion at the ballot box as to what kind of judge they want to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.” Now, he is already trying to back track and pretend his words then don’t apply now. The only difference? There is now a Republican in the White House. This is shameful.

Now, the 2020 election is already happening, and votes are being cast. Senators Hoeven, we demand that you and your colleagues, including Sen. Cramer, uphold the very principles that you publicly committed to in 2016. Let the people have a say. There must be no confirmation vote on a Supreme Court nominee until after a new president is inaugurated. It is only fair.

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