Yesterday, President Trump followed through on his pledge to nominate someone in the mold of Justice Scalia to the U.S. Supreme Court—and that’s the last thing our democracy needs right now.
Judge Neil Gorsuch is no champion for democracy, and his record on money in politics suggests he would continue the Court’s trajectory of expanding the power of the donor class. For this reason alone, he has no place on nation’s highest court.
Justice Scalia was a strong supporter of Citizens United and a series of damaging Supreme Court rulings that have treated unlimited political spending as a form of free speech and empowered corporate interests over voters. For four decades, the Court’s flawed approach to money in politics has gutted common-sense protections against the power of special interests and wealthy individuals, and shaped a system that 85% of Americans believe needs fundamental changes.
Now Judge Gorsuch’s far-right views on the role of money in politics threaten to further elevate the power of big donors over the voices of ordinary voters.
This was no surprise since Trump’s nominees were vetted by White House Counsel Don McGahn, one of the commissioners most hostile to money-in-politics rules in the history of the Federal Election Commission. This, despite the fact that more than 90% of voters (including 91% of Trump voters) think it’s important that President Trump nominates a Supreme Court justice who is open to limiting the influence of big money in politics.
With the Court split 4-4 on this and other issues, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Judge Gorsuch is not the person to shift the tide so we can finally build a democracy where the size of our wallets doesn’t determine the strength of our voices.
It’s time for senators to step up and choose a side. Each one will have to answer: Are you for the many, or for the money?