WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement following the announced retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote of the U.S. Supreme Court:
“The stakes for this next nomination are high. This vacancy arises at a critical moment for the country, one in which we are contending with ongoing discrimination and monumental battles over issues suchas voter suppression, criminal justice, the Muslim Ban, extreme gerrymandering and more.
“The next nominee to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat could transform the Court for generations. Americans deserve a Justice who will fairly interpret and apply the constitution and our nation’s federal civil rights laws. We urge President Trump to be mindful of the principles of fairness and independence that must guide the nomination process. The President has an opportunity to nominate someone who could maintain balance on the Court. We need an independent justice who is committed to securing, through the rule of law, equal justice for all and combating the racial and social inequalities dividing this nation. Moreover, we urge the President and the Senate to consider principles of diversity which have too often gone ignored under this administration’s approach to filling vacancies that arise on our nation’s courts.
“Once a nomination has been advanced, the Senate must exercise care and caution in fully evaluating the record underlying any nominee, respect the long-standing rules and traditions that have guided the nomination process, and not take lightly their constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent.
“We thank Justice Kennedy for his service on the Court and for his service to the American public.”