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
MITT ROMNEY (Utah)…THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE TO CALL 202-224-5251
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.