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NASW urges Senate to conduct Supreme Court nomination process after election and inauguration

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) urges the Senate to honor the wishes of the majority of Americans and conduct the Supreme Court nomination process after the upcoming elections and the presidential inauguration.

“President Trump’s decision to fast-track a candidate for a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court before the inauguration of our next president is an insult to democracy and to the legacy of Justice Ginsberg,” said Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, Chief Executive Officer of NASW. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee by saying that it was too close to the 2016 presidential elections. There were eight months before that election; there are just 43 days before the 2020 elections, and early and absentee votes are already being cast.  The Senate must respect the clear will of the American people which polls show is to wait until after the inauguration to move the nomination process forward.”

With this nomination of a conservative judge to an already right-leaning court, the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which enabled access to health care for millions of low and middle-income Americans is hanging in the balance. Trump’s nominee is on record in opposition to the ACA and even criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for his decision to uphold the law in 2012.

The rights of people who are LGBTQ rights are also in jeopardy. During its upcoming session the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the LGBTQ foster parenting discrimination and adoption case (Fulton v. City of Philadelphia), which considers whether governments must allow taxpayer-funded organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people when providing critical services.

A ruling hostile to equality in this case could eviscerate social safety net programs including services for veterans, people experiencing homelessness, runaway youth, refugees, and those needing emergency shelters and services. President Trump’s nominee has made public statements antagonistic to LGBTQ people and was a law clerk and protégé to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most steadfast opponents of LGBTQ rights.

Women’s reproductive health protections are also at stake. During the upcoming court term, the  landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade will be challenged and will be accepted for review by the conservative-leaning court. Given Judge Barrett’s staunch and vocal pro-life statements, the Supreme Court will likely gut and overturn Roe v Wade.  

NASW implores each member of the Senate to return to the historical values and integrity of that body which has been the envy of the world. This heavy-handed power grab may be the norm for our current president, but we expect more from men and women who pride themselves in being the guardians of the public good.

NASW will join with its coalition partners promote a democratic nomination process.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.