Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Chairman Grassley, and Ranking Member Feinstein:
As organizations representing tens of millions of Americans, we write to express our deep concern regarding the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States because of his troubling record on money in politics.
Americans across the country are concerned about the growing influence of big money in our elections and our government.
Last year, the cost of running for federal office rose yet again, with more money than ever coming from a small group of elite donors, and a substantial amount of secret money in the system. The constant pursuit of campaign money from a relative handful of wealthy contributors skews policy outcomes and has shaken confidence in our political process. Eighty- five percent of voters say we should “fundamentally change” or “completely rebuild” the current campaign money system.1
The Supreme Court has been a key source of the problem by outlawing common sense limits on big money spending, most famously in the Citizens United decision. The challenge to our democracy is not simply the influence gained by billionaires and powerful corporations but, more deeply, it is the loss of an effective voice for the vast majority of Americans and of public confidence by ordinary Americans in their government and federal officeholders.
The next justice confirmed to lifetime tenure on the Court will likely be a tie-breaking vote in new cases addressing political money. In future decisions, the Court might erase our few remaining protections against big money influence in campaigns and policy-making, or permit a balanced political system in which all voices are heard and currently marginalized communities have a full say in the decisions that affect their lives.
Americans understand this, and 93 percent of 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.2 Unfortunately, Judge Gorsuch’s record on money in politics and corporate power is deeply troubling, and suggests he would support increasing the power of the wealthiest interests within the system.3