Get Ready: Trump Announcing Supreme Court Nominee Next Thursday
According to press reports, President Trump plans to announce his pick to nominate someone to the Supreme Court next Thursday (Feb. 2). Just to review the bidding, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away almost a year ago, and Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for about ten months to keep the seat open for President Trump.
The stakes are high for women in any Supreme Court nomination: the Supreme Court makes final decisions about legal rights upon which women rely every day — like laws that protect against sex discrimination and sexual harassment at work and at school, the constitutional right to privacy and to equal protection of the law, and important health and safety regulations.
Every Justice makes a difference on the Supreme Court, especially for women. Many cases that decided important legal issues for women have been closely decided — Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire, which reversed the long-standing interpretation of Title VII that allowed victims of pay discrimination to challenge the discrimination as it continues over time; Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, which allowed some closely-held corporations to use religion to undermine women’s health and equality; and Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that the Constitution requires all states to permit and recognize marriages between same-sex couples, were all 5-4 decisions.
And women have particular reasons to pay attention to this nomination. During his campaign, President Trump promised to nominate a Justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and who would approach the Constitution like the late Justice Scalia — whose legal approach narrowed constitutional (and statutory) protections for women.
That’s why it’s so important for women across the country to get involved in this nomination. Here’s what you can do:
- Get the facts. Media reports suggest that 10th Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch, 3rd Circuit judge Thomas Hardiman, 11th Circuit judge William Pryor, and 7th Circuit judge Diane Sykes are the leading contenders for the nomination. Stay tuned for information about what we already know about their records — and what we need to find out.
- Get ready to make your voice heard. Your Senators who vote on Supreme Court nominations are in Washington to represent you — and you need to let them know where you stand. Be prepared to contact your Senators, especially if they sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Spread the word. Share information with your friends and colleagues, and make it easy for them to weigh in when the time is right.
Every Justice on the Supreme Court makes a difference in women’s lives for generations to come. Don’t sit this one out — women across the country are counting on you.