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On the heels of President Trump’s announcement nominating DC Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court, Senator Murray reiterated her strong opposition in a Senate floor speech, citing track record on women’s reproductive health, other essential rights & freedoms 

Senator Murray lambasted President Trump’s “explicit” tests for Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh on overturning Roe v. Wade, rolling back women’s access to reproductive care, protections for pre-existing conditions, and other basic health care

Senator Murray: “For a nominee who would swing the balance of the court, I am going to believe that President Trump has told us the truth, and I am going to believe the extreme right wing groups who wrote his list for him are sure about where this nominee stands”

Senator Murray also highlighted threats to workers, environmental protections, LGBTQ equality, and more posed by Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination

Senator Murray: The Senate “has the power to stop this court from swinging against our rights and freedoms, and every Senator needs to know that they will be held accountable for their votes”

Senator Murray: “I will be urging my colleagues to stand with me in rejecting him…[a]nd I will be urging people across the country to stand up, speak out, and make their voices heard”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH BELOW OR HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Assistant Democratic Leader and top Democrat on the Senate health committee, reiterated her strong opposition to President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, DC Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and cited President Trump’s specific declarations outlining his intention to only appoint people to the nation’s highest court who passed his extreme, ideological test on overturning Roe v. Wade, undermining women’s reproductive care and other health care, and limiting other rights and freedoms—all of which Kavanaugh’s record makes clear he would do. Additionally, Senator Murray highlighted additional concerns about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, including what he would do to roll back workers’ rights, critical environmental protections, and progress made advancing LGBTQ equality.

Senator Murray pledged to do everything in her power to fight Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, urging her Senate colleagues to join her efforts and encouraging people throughout the country to raise their voices and make clear their opposition to President Trump’s nominee who would roll back rights and freedoms for women, workers, families, businesses, and more.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor speech:

“And M. President, this time, the balance of the court is on the line: we know exactly where this nominee will fall on the specific issues, no matter what vague answers he chooses to deliver through this process. We know this, because President Trump told us: openly, publicly, and repeatedly. More than any President I’ve seen, he has been explicit about what he expects from a nominee. He has laid out specific tests—and promised to only pick nominees from a pre-screened list of people who would absolutely meet them.”

“He has made it clear he wants a nominee who would keep handing more power to massive corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and keep diluting the power of regular voters. He has made it clear he wants a nominee who would eliminate protections that preserve the air we breathe and the water we drink. He has made it clear he wants a nominee who would roll back the rights and freedoms for workers, for LGBTQ Americans, and for so many others. So M. President, there is no doubt—it couldn’t be any clearer. For a nominee who would swing the balance of the court, I am going to believe that President Trump has told us the truth, and I am going to believe the extreme right wing groups who wrote his list for him are sure about where this nominee stands.”

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to allow five men on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion in America, and roll back the progress we’ve made to help more women and girls access the basic health care they need […] [a]nd a vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to go back to the days when women had to go into back alleys for health care—when women had to ask for permission, when women were shamed, and when women, and girls, died because of the laws of our land. We unfortunately already know all too well what this looks like because there are states nationwide where extreme politicians have chipped away at women’s health care rights and have been waiting for exactly this moment—for someone exactly like Judge Kavanaugh—to go even further.”

“So M. President, I voted against Judge Kavanaugh when he was nominated for the circuit court and I strongly oppose this nomination now. I will be urging my colleagues to stand with me in rejecting him, and in calling on President Trump to send us someone who would stand with women, workers, and families, and who would truly commit to respecting settled law and the rights and freedoms we hold so dear.  And I will be urging people across the country to stand up, speak out, and make their voices heard.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s full floor speech HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s floor speech, below:

“M. President- I come to the floor today to discuss my strong opposition to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh for a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court.

“M. President, there are few issues I take more seriously as a Senator than my duty to consider and vote on Supreme Court nominees. 

“It was watching the Clarence Thomas hearings—and seeing how my voice and the voices of people like me all across the country weren’t being heard—that got me to run for the Senate in the first place.

“And I believe it is one of the most important jobs we have on behalf of our constituents.

“M. President—in my time in the Senate, I have had the opportunity to consider nominees from Democrats, and from Republicans.

“And for each one of these nominees, I made my evaluation—and I based my decision on their experience and record, and on my understanding of whether or not they would uphold the Constitution and protect our rights and freedoms.

“I voted for some of them—including a nominee from President Bush—and I voted against some of them, each on their merits, and each based on how I think they would serve.

“But M. President, this time is different.

“There will still be scrutiny—there absolutely needs to be—but this time, we know everything we need to know already.

“And M. President, this time, the balance of the court is on the line: we know exactly where this nominee will fall on the specific issues, no matter what vague answers he chooses to deliver through this process.

“We know this, because President Trump told us: openly, publicly, and repeatedly.

“More than any President I’ve seen, he has been explicit about what he expects from a nominee.

“He has laid out specific tests—and promised to only pick nominees from a pre-screened list of people who would absolutely meet them.

“M. President, here is what he has said—and here is how we know exactly what this nominee would do.

“President Trump has said he wants a nominee who is fully committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortions, and rolling back women’s ability to access contraception and other basic health care.

“On the campaign trail he promised Roe v. Wade “can be changed,”and that he was going to be “putting pro-life justices on the court” so that it would be overturned “automatically.”

“He has said he wants a nominee who would immediately declare health care reform unconstitutional and cut off access to care for people with pre-existing conditions.

“On the campaign trail he criticized Chief Justice Roberts because he “should have, frankly, ended Obamacare, and he didn’t”—and promised “a strong test” for a “strong conservative” who would be different than Roberts on health care.

“He has made it clear he wants a nominee who would keep handing more power to massive corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and keep diluting the power of regular voters.

“He has made it clear he wants a nominee who would eliminate protections that preserve the air we breathe and the water we drink.

“He has made it clear he wants a nominee who would roll back the rights and freedoms for workers, for LGBTQ Americans, and for so many others.

“So M. President, there is no doubt—it couldn’t be any clearer.

“For a nominee who would swing the balance of the court, I am going to believe that President Trump has told us the truth, and I am going to believe the extreme right wing groups who wrote his list for him are sure about where this nominee stands.

“So I want to be very clear—to anyone who may doubt it, or who may think they need to learn more before making a decision:

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to allow five men on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion in America, and roll back the progress we’ve made to help more women and girls access the basic health care they need.

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to put the government, bosses, and men in charge of the reproductive rights and freedoms of women and girls.

“And a vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to go back to the days when women had to go into back alleys for health care—when women had to ask for permission, when women were shamed, and when women, and girls, died because of the laws of our land.

“We unfortunately already know all too well what this looks like because there are states nationwide where extreme politicians have chipped away at women’s health care rights and have been waiting for exactly this moment—for someone exactly like Judge Kavanaugh—to go even further.

“But M. President, that’s not all.

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to end protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and go back to the bad-old days when insurance companies were in charge and people would have to pay more, or be cut off from care, simply for being sick.

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to give massive corporations even more power over our economy, our workers, and our elections.

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to eliminate environmental protections and make our air and water dirtier and less safe, erasing so much of the progress we have made in recent decades.

“A vote for President Trump’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to step back from the progress we’ve made to expand rights, freedoms, and basic human decency to LGBTQ Americans.

“I can go on and on—and in the coming days and weeks as we learn even more about the ways that Judge Kavanaugh will fulfill President Trump’s promises, I absolutely will.

“So M. President, I voted against Judge Kavanaugh when he was nominated for the circuit court and I strongly oppose this nomination now.

“I will be urging my colleagues to stand with me in rejecting him, and in calling on President Trump to send us someone who would stand with women, workers, and families, and who would truly commit to respecting settled law and the rights and freedoms we hold so dear.

“And I will be urging people across the country to stand up, speak out, and make their voices heard.

“This is a critical moment right now—the United States Senate has the power to stop this court from swinging against our rights and freedoms, and every Senator needs to know that they will be held accountable for their votes.

“Thank you, I yield the floor.”