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“One issue that I know women across the country will be focused on … is Roe v. Wade. Because let me be clear: women and men in this country understand how directly tied this right is to a woman’s freedom and economic security. And they overwhelmingly do not want to see that right rolled back” 

“Voting rights are at stake. LGBTQ rights are at stake. The right to organize collectively is at stake. And those are just a few—there is so much more”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR REMARKS HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today in her first public comments after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the nation’s highest court, handing President Trump a second Supreme Court nomination opportunity, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) voiced the concerns of millions of people across the country about considering a nomination from a president who has spent every day in office testing the limits of the Constitution. In remarks on the Senate floor, Senator Murray evoked the history of Robert Bork’s withdrawn nomination and outlined what’s at stake if President Trump and Republicans instead move forward with nominating an ideologically-extreme candidate, adding that families across the country will be paying attention to their actions and holding them accountable.  

“Families across the country are paying attention, and they are going to be watching what President Trump and individual members of the United States Senate will do. They are going to want to know—will their rights be protected? Will their freedoms be secure? Will the Supreme Court put people like them first? Or, will they stand with special interests, big businesses, and the most extreme ideologues in our country?,” said Senator Murray during her remarks. “Those are the questions people across the country will be asking, that is the conversation I expect we will have here in the United States Senate—and that what is President Trump should be considering as he thinks about this issue, and hopefully as he slows this down and gives people across the country a chance to weigh in.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

Text of Senator Murray’s floor remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“M. President, I had been planning to come to the floor about a specific issue related to women’s health care, rights, and freedoms—

“...but before I get to that, I want to comment on the news that is clearly very closely connected.

“It is clear that Justice Kennedy’s retirement comes at a pivotal point in our nation’s history, when so many of our values are under attack by a president who has spent every day in office testing the limits of our Constitution.

“I share the deep concern of so many families across this country who are already suffering under the Trump Administration and fear further erosion of the progress in this country.

“So first of all, I want to be clear: I am hopeful that Republican leaders go back and look at what they said very recently—and give families across the country the opportunity to weigh in—with an election—before moving forward to fill this seat.

“But M. President, we don’t know who President Trump will nominate just yet—or when he will make a nomination—but I want to go back to something my dear friend and colleague Senator Kennedy said, because it highlights the stakes right now.

“He was talking about an extreme nominee—Robert Bork—and he said:

“’Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.’

“M. President, Robert Bork was rejected—and Justice Kennedy took his place.

“And today, we face similar stakes—right now, in this moment.

“Voting rights are at stake. LGBTQ rights are at stake.

“The right to organize collectively is at stake.

“And those are just a few. There is so much more.

“Families across the country are paying attention, and they are going to be watching what President Trump and individual members of the United States Senate will do.

“They are going to want to know—will their rights be protected?

“Will their freedoms be secure?

“Will the Supreme Court put people like them first? Or, will they stand with special interests, big businesses, and the most extreme ideologues in our country?

“Those are the questions people across the country will be asking—that is the conversation I expect we will have here in the United States Senate—and that what is President Trump should be considering as he thinks about this issue, and hopefully as he slows this down and gives people across the country a chance to weigh in.

“M. President, one issue that I know women across the country will be focused on and asking about is their constitutionally protected right to control their own health care decisions, affirmed in Roe v. Wade.

“Because let me be clear: women and men in this country understand how directly tied this right is to a woman’s freedom and economic security.

“And they overwhelmingly do not want to see that right rolled back.

“Now, today is the anniversary of a ruling that further upheld woman’s constitutionally protected reproductive rights—

“…and I want to take a few minutes to discuss what this decision  meant for women’s lives and why we will not stop fighting to protect the progress we’ve made.”