Equality Illinois Calls on Senators Kirk and Durbin
to Promptly Consider Supreme Court Replacement for Justice Scalia
Republican leaders’ call for delay is an abuse of power

February 14, 2016

Statement by Bernard Cherkasov, CEO, Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois offers condolences to the family of Justice Scalia and to his colleagues on the United States Supreme Court.

With the Court’s work too important to go without a ninth member, President Obama should promptly nominate a successor. We trust that Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Mark Kirk will give the nominee due consideration and decide whether to confirm based on the best interests of the people of Illinois and the United States.

Already, the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, and several of Sen. Kirk’s Republican colleagues have called for a delay of nearly a year until the new president can nominate Justice Scalia’s successor. This is an abuse of power and contrary to the United States Constitution and American history. We hope Sen. Kirk accepts that it is President Obama’s constitutional authority and responsibility to fill the vacancy.

Sen. Kirk will be under tremendous pressure from his colleagues to automatically reject the President’s nominee. Yet, Sen. Kirk has demonstrated a thoughtful willingness to work in a bipartisan manner on important issues, including the Equality Act to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and his support for marriage equality. This is the Mark Kirk that we hope will be part of the confirmation process for President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

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