WASHINGTON – In response to the U.S. Senate enacting the so-called “nuclear option” on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:
“It is disappointing to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell change the rules of the Senate to allow for a simple majority vote on Supreme Court nominees now and in the future. He has rolled back long-standing Senate rules and traditions to lower the bar for Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, in essence making Gorsuch nothing more than a garden-variety political appointee.
“For nearly a year, AFGE has asked Congress to do its job and hold hearings for Judge Merrick Garland. It’s a sad day for democracy when partisan senators refuse to do what’s right to get what they want. Working people in America are under constant attack and continue to face numerous attempts to undermine their rights at work from insiders looking to roll back provisions that unions have long fought for. Forcing through a justice by a simple majority vote shows that leaders in the Senate don’t care about the working class.
“Congress had a chance to have a serious debate about the impact of Judge Gorsuch’s lifetime appointment on working people in America. Supreme Court Justices will now be political appointees, serving for life.
“Last year I stood outside the Supreme Court with hundreds of others asking our elected representatives to ‘Do their job,’ and now it’s safe to say they have let us all down. It’s unfortunate that faced with the idea of having to put forth a new and better nominee for all of America, Senate leaders have instead run roughshod over long-established rules and guidelines so they could get their way.”