STATEMENT: Senate Must Refuse to Confirm Right-Wing Ideologue to Replace Kennedy, CAP’s Neera Tanden Says

Washington, D.C. — After Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The retirement of Justice Kennedy threatens to eliminate the last check on a President who has stomped on Americans’ rights with impunity. Women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and American workers are now dangerously at the mercy of President Trump’s bigotry and corruption.

Trump’s attacks on women have been as horrific during his presidency as they were in his private life. Any nominee must pledge to uphold Roe v. Wade as settled law. His previous list of potential nominees, written as a sop to extreme special interests, should be rejected out of hand.

Given President Trump’s demands for blind loyalty from his appointees, the onus for any nominee to have demonstrated independence is exceptionally high. Trump is in the midst of an unprecedented attack on the rule of law, and a nominee who will not stand up to that attack is a danger to our democracy.

Finally, given Trump’s unpopularity and his minority election, it would be an outrageous partisan power grab for him to shift the entire balance of the court without meeting a 60 vote threshold that previous nominees have required. It goes without saying that the McConnell Rule should be followed: The American people should have a say, and the Senate should consider the nominee only after the new Congress is seated.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Jesse Lee at or 202-741-6350.