Durbin Honors Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg On Senate Floor

Durbin To Senate Republicans: There Should No Supreme Court Confirmation Before Inauguration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today honored the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Senate floor. 

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not simply take opportunities afforded to women.  More than perhaps any American in history, she helped to create those opportunities,” Durbin said.  “Loretta and I offer our deepest condolences to her friends and family, especially her daughter Jane, her son James, her grandchildren, and great-granddaughter.  May her memory be a blessing and may her life be a guiding light for all of us.”

In his speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) announcement that he will defy Justice Ginsburg’s fervent wish and attempt to fill her Supreme Court seat this year, hypocritically breaking his own rule that “the American people should have a voice” in filling Supreme Court vacancies in presidential election years.

On February 13, 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in a presidential election year, Senator McConnell said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.  Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”  The statement was clear and unambiguous.  It was made 269 days before the presidential election.  This is the McConnell Rule.

“The Supreme Court was created by the Founders of our nation to be the arbiter of equal justice under the law, not as a tool for one party’s political agenda.  The American people can smell a rat, they know when the game’s getting rigged,” Durbin said.  “They look at the McConnell Rule that he announced in 2016 and now they look at what they are actually doing in 2020.  They know this isn’t on the level.  Sadly, in many ways, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has broken the United States Senate down in recent years.  And I fear if we go down the path President Trump and Senator McConnell have set us on, the Supreme Court may end up broken too.  It will only take four Republican Senators to stop this travesty.  Four Republican Senators can say ‘enough’… I hope there will be four Republican Senators with the courage – and it will take courage – to say that.” 

Durbin concluded, “We should honor Justice Ginsburg’s fervent last wish.  Let the American people have a voice in filling this vacancy.  That’s what Senator McConnell insisted upon 38 weeks before the election in 2016.  That should also be our standard in 2020 – six weeks before the election. There should no confirmation before inauguration.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.