Press Release

NWLC Responds to Senate Republicans’ Changing Longstanding Rules of the Senate

Posted on April 6, 2017 Issues: Judges & Courts Supreme Court

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The following is a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed the rules of the Senate so that Judge Neil Gorsuch could be rushed to confirmation. This gutting of longstanding Senate rules represents yet another new low for Senate Republicans, who have shown that they will go to any length to pack the Supreme Court with extreme nominees. If, as is now likely, Judge Gorsuch is confirmed, people across this nation who come to the courts for justice are going to feel the devastating impact of his decisions for generations.

“Supreme Court nominees have historically been required to garner 60 votes to be confirmed. This level of support has served as a safeguard that at least a substantial majority of Senators believe that a nominee is open-minded, fair, and independent. A 60-vote threshold has been the norm not only for routine legislation but also for lifetime Supreme Court appointments precisely because the Court decides cases that make a major difference in all our lives. Women’s lives and futures literally hang in the balance, depending on how the Supreme Court rules on their constitutional right to privacy, including reproductive rights and access to safe and legal abortion, on their constitutional right to equality and protection from discrimination, and on the scope and effectiveness of hard-won statutes promising them equal opportunity in the workplace, education, and far beyond.

“President Trump’s nominee could not muster 60 votes precisely because of his record on the bench, his writings, and his refusal in testimony to soften his approach to the law, favoring corporations, employers, and other powerful entities at the expense of the individuals who seek the law’s protections. And time and time again, his approach has disadvantaged women.

“The fact that Judge Gorsuch did not receive 60 votes shows that he is the wrong nominee for the Supreme Court. But rather than give the President the opportunity to nominate an individual who respects core constitutional values of liberty, equality, and justice for all, McConnell changed the rules to jam this extreme nominee through the Senate.

“We are fighting for women’s lives, their health, their dignity and their equality under the law. Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court would mean a serious setback for women’s hard-won and cherished legal rights in this country. Senators should oppose Neil Gorsuch’s nomination when they vote tomorrow.”



For Immediate Release: April 6, 2017
Contact:  Maria Patrick ( or Olympia Feil (

The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit:

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