Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekly Action Steps: So, What Now??

Within hours of RBG’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the GOP had an obligation to fill her seat on the Supreme Court immediately (despite saying four years ago, when Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Court, that Supreme Court vacancies could not be filled in an election year). “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” he said at that time. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

It was RBG’s most fervent wish, expressed in her final days, that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. To help honor her wish and to protect the civil rights so many of us hold dear, there are steps we can, and must, take. Everything hinges on the outcome of November’s elections. We have 43 days (and early election has already begun in some areas!). Here are some things we can do right now in the time we have left to save our democracy:

1. Senate Republicans need 51 votes to confirm a new justice for the Supreme Court once one is formally nominated (a Trump nomination is expected as early as this week). If they get 50 votes, Pence will cast a tie-breaking vote in their favor, so we want them to have no more than 49 votes. Currently, there are 53 GOP senators, so we need them to lose four votes. Two senators – Murkowski of Alaska and Collins of Maine – have said that they will not vote to confirm a nominee before the election (whether or not they would confirm after the election, during a lame duck session, is another story, but one thing at a time). We need two more senators.

Our best bets are senators who are in vulnerable positions in their re-election campaigns as well as those who have been on record in the past saying they wouldn’t vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee so close to the election. We can all call these senators, but if any of them represent your state, your voice is louder and worth more, so call, call, call! Tell them you will donate to their opponents. Here are the names and numbers to call:

Joni Ernst (Iowa) 202-224-3254
Thom Tillis (North Carolina) 202-224-6342
Cory Gardner (Colorado) 202-224-5941
Steve Daines (Montana) 202-224-2644
Martha McSally (Arizona) 202-224-2235
David Perdue (Georgia) 202-224-3521
Even Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) 202-224-5972

Tell them you’re calling to urge them to refuse to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election, a precedent that was set in 2016 when the Republicans refused to confirm Merrick Garland in an election year.

2. Donate, donate, DONATE! If you are lucky enough in this crushed economy to have some money to spare, think about what you would pay to not have Trump in office anymore. What would you pay to flip the Senate and strip Trump of some of his power in the awful event that he is re-elected or to boost the power of Biden if he wins the presidency? Use those amounts as guidance in how to donate. In the hours between 8 p.m. Friday, when the death of RBG was announced and 10 a.m. yesterday, ActBlue reported 100 million dollars in small number donations made to Democratic candidates and causes. A hundred million dollars! In just over 36 hours!! Let’s double that this week. Let’s fund these campaigns – especially those who have great shots of winning their Senate response aces and could use more cash on hand to push them over (Mark Kelly, the Democrat running against the Republican in Arizona has strong odds of winning but is currently very well funded, so I’m leaving him off the list for now):

Theresa Greenfield (Iowa)
Cal Cunningham (North Carolina)
John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
Jaime Harrison (South Carolina)
Steve Bullock (Montana)
Sara Gideon (Maine)

You can go here and donate to all or any of them from one place by clicking the names you want to send your donations to (and customizing the amounts).

3. I should have listed this first, but make sure you are registered to vote. Even if you know you are, double check that you still are. If you’ve moved, like lots of people have during the pandemic, update your registration!

I’ll have more steps next week, but in the meantime you can watch AOC’s instagram live from Friday evening to get inspired for this fight of our lives, and this guy’s brilliant quick breakdown on how we flip the Senate.

21 comments… add one
  • ktfran September 21, 2020, 8:26 am

    Donated! Thank you for this Wendy.

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  • Kate September 21, 2020, 8:57 am

    I would say call Collins too if you live in Maine. She’s super sketchy and can’t be trusted.

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    Copa September 21, 2020, 9:32 am

    I have faith Mitt Romney will also say no to confirming a nominee before the election.

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      MaterialsGirl September 21, 2020, 10:41 am

      Same here! please please please please please. This is just, not cool man. not cool. And whats scary is the most likely candidate for her replacement is SO FAR RIGHT. sooo far.

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        courtney89 September 21, 2020, 1:59 pm

        SO SO SO FAR RIGHT. The most center Republicans can’t seriously approve of her… can they? Eff politics.

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        MaterialsGirl September 21, 2020, 2:41 pm

        Neil Gorsuch wasn’t even a radical proposition. AMYBC is .. esh

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        Copa September 22, 2020, 9:30 am

        Looks like he let us down. Bah.

    • Kate September 22, 2020, 11:12 am

      You gotta love how controlling women’s bodies and denying equal rights is SO critical to these people that they will publicly do the sleaziest and most dispicable things imaginable. I did think there was a chance with Mitt, but nope.

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  • Kali September 21, 2020, 1:42 pm

    There’s a great group called RBG’s Army on Facebook too if folks are so inclined. Easy to follow action plan. We have to fight even harder than before!

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  • quark September 22, 2020, 8:59 am

    We don’t have the votes. Even with Murkowski, Romney and Collins (big if) voting against the confirmation, we don’t have the votes. Republicans truly don’t care about norms or ethics, or morals. Only power, and judges, and money. And the Congress Democrats truly do not understand it and keep tweeting about civility instead of taking any action. We will absolutely have a new SCOTUS Justice before inauguration
    Also, donated.

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  • Sara September 22, 2020, 11:24 am

    Two simple things anyone can do right now to make a difference.

    1. There is an amazing service called Resist not which sends letters to your senators on your behalf. All you need to do is text Rbg to 50409. For fun they let you what number person you are that has requested letter writing. Currently they are up to 1.6 million. More voices more the senators have to listen.

    2. Make sure your friends and family are registered to vote and also have a plan on voting. I was shocked to see how many people I know that were either not registered or were registered but were not planning to vote! Do what you can to help people move pass impediments. Volunteer to help them register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and/or drive them to the polls.

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  • Kate September 22, 2020, 12:19 pm

    Also, it’s not enough just to vote. People need to vote Democrat all the way down, if they don’t want to go back to the dark ages. You can’t vote third-party because that’s a vote for Trump. It’s a vote for a 7-2 Supreme Court (one of the remaining 3 liberal justices is 82).

    This isn’t about Biden or how you feel about him.

    Also, please keep in mind that if Hillary Clinton had won those 77,000 votes that cost her the election, we would have 5 or 6 liberal justices on the Supreme Court. I know some of you got suckered on Hillary, and this is the reality you’re dealing with by throwing away your vote.

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      courtney89 September 22, 2020, 12:38 pm

      This. This is what made me so angry back then when people refused to vote for Hillary. I get it, she was not a great candidate to some people, well. look at the mess we are in now.
      I was looking at the ages of the justices yesterday TBH. How we can get some seats back if (praying) Biden is to win. Alito is old. Thomas is old.
      Just praying at this point.

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      • Kate September 22, 2020, 1:33 pm

        Alito & Thomas could decide to retire so 2nd-term Trump could replace them with younger, more batshit justices, and Breyer may not make it another 5 years.

      • ktfran September 22, 2020, 2:19 pm

        That’s more likely to happen if Trump is re-elected. Basically, we’re fucked. Democracy is fucked. Women, LGBTQ, BIPOC, people with preexisting conditions, the environment and animals, all fucked.

        Ever since Nov 2016 , I thought something big would have to go down for real change to happen. Never did I think it would be the end of the great American experiment. If Trump is re-elected, we’re moving into an era of authoritarian power until there is war. That sounds really doomsday, but that’s what I’m feeling this week and in this moment.

        So yes, fucking VOTE. And keep voting every election, not just every 4 years for president. Local leadership matters. State leadership matters. The Senate and House matter.

      • Kate September 22, 2020, 2:25 pm

        You know, constitutionally there is nothing that says there have to be 9 justices. If the Democrats have the senate, they can actually expand the Supreme Court like Ed Markey (who I voted for a couple weeks ago in the MA primary) is saying. They could make it 11 justices and appoint more liberals.

        But everyone has to vote, vote D, and make it a landslide so that there’s no contest.

      • ktfran September 22, 2020, 2:37 pm

        Yes, we need Biden now more than ever. We needed him to win regardless. But yeah.

        If Trump wins, expanding the Supreme Court won’t matter.

  • Part-time Lurker September 22, 2020, 2:07 pm

    It amazes me that the republicans feel it’s their duty to the electorate to vote in another supreme court justice, but they don’t seem to feel like they have a duty to those very same voters to pass a stimulus package. {Sigh}

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      Dear Wendy September 22, 2020, 2:10 pm

      Preach. They don’t give a SHIT about the American people. All they care about is power and making more money, end stop. Controlling women’s bodies is part of the power. They are absolutely gleeful about it.

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  • em September 22, 2020, 2:59 pm

    Something else to consider supporting, especially going forward in the worst case scenario:
    donate to/support local, grassroots abortion/reproductive rights funds in your area (Nat’l Network of Abortions Funds is a great place to start looking)

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    Bittergaymark September 22, 2020, 9:26 pm

    Fuck them all. Better yet — do something far more lasting. More permanent.

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