Senators react negatively to Trump's court nominee
Oregon's U.S. senators, both Democrats, have reacted negatively to President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, in separate statements Monday, focused on the likelihood that Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy will move the court closer to overturning the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.
"There can be no mistaking Trump's Supreme Court nomination for anything but what it is: a direct attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. American women could lose the right to chart the courses of their own lives, finding their futures are determined by the whims of fanatical state legislators and the availability of contraception. Make no mistake: we will not go back to those days."
Merkley said there's more at stake in addition to women's reproductive rights:
"Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose lifesaving health care. Marriage equality could be overturned. Racial inequality and blatant voter suppression could be further embraced by the highest court in the land.
"These are no longer wild hypotheticals; these are real and imminent threats to our nation.
"The justices of the Supreme Court should be selected based on the wisdom, experience, and values they bring to the job, not hand-picked by ideological organizations committed to rolling back the ability of women, minorities, workers, and consumers to participate fully and freely in society. To safeguard the rights of all Americans and our founding vision of a 'We the People' nation, Americans must rise up and make their voices heard in the U.S. Senate."
The 47 Democrats — 10 of them are up for re-election in states Trump carried in 2016 — and two independents who caucus with them in the Senate are not enough to thwart a nomination that can be approved by a simple majority. Even if they stand together, they will need a couple of Republicans to break ranks.
(NOTE: This story follows up a posting of oral comments from the senators on Friday, before Trump announced his nominee on Monday.)