June 27, 2018

Udall: The American People Must Speak Before We Consider Supreme Court Nominee

WASHINGTON – Today, during a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Tom Udall said that the Senate must allow the American people to speak in the upcoming midterm election before a nominee is considered to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Udall’s comments came in a speech about the president’s inhumane and immoral family separation policy, during which Udall advocated for a strong judicial system to guarantee due process and uphold the rule of law and fundamental rights.

Udall’s comments on the Senate floor about the Supreme Court vacancy are below:

“We all must continue to speak out until we have policies in place that make sure families stay together -- lawfully and humanely. We need alternatives to detention. And we need to stand up for due process. As Americans see images of separated children and family detention camps, they turn to Congress. And they turn to the judicial system as well.

“A federal district judge recently issued a ruling barring family detention, and ordering reunification within 30 days. But the Trump administration may fight this ruling. Just like they are fighting to overturn Flores, which came out of a Supreme Court case.

“And now, today, Justice Kennedy has announced he is retiring. I had some very strong disagreements with his rulings, especially on campaign finance reform. But I thank him for his service. He was a thoughtful judge.

“But I am very concerned with the process to replace him. The majority leader is trying to eliminate advise and consent from the process. We should wait until after the upcoming election. That will be a shorter time than Leader McConnell waited in 2016, the last election year.

“And I am very concerned with the president’s process. He is picking from an ideological list, with a history of personally attacking judges he disagrees with, while demanding loyalty from appointees. At the same time, this administration is undermining due process across the board -- along the border, for minority races or religions, for a woman’s right to choose.

“The constitution requires a real advise and consent process. The majority leader needs to ensure one. If the McConnell rule was in place in the 2016 election year, it should be in place in 2018. Given the president’s attacks on due process and rule of law, we should let the people speak before we consider his next Supreme Court nominee.”