Civil rights leaders along with other people and groups opposed to the U.S Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett were seemingly left with no other options but to shake their heads in disgust and disappointment that the president was successfully able to both rush and politicize the process just one week before election day.
The now-former 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge was sworn-in Monday night on the South Lawn of the White House by Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas with her husband and Donald Trump beside them just a few short hours after the Republican-led Senate finished pushing through her nomination in record time. Many civil rights leaders found it to be an egregious affront against democracy not only that Barrett was filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death but also that the newly-installed justice could end up being Trump’s tool to secure his victory for an election in which 60 million people have already voted.
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, issued a blistering statement that called Barrett’s confirmation “a travesty of justice” that will have serious consequences for generations to come.
“As the coronavirus is increasing in intensity and reach, African Americans are still bearing the brunt, in lives and livelihoods lost,” Johnson said in part. “The Senate’s move to fill this seat at the expense of addressing the urgent needs of the American people is a dereliction of duty of the highest order.” He added, “Barrett will be a disaster for civil rights on the Court and cited her record as proof of his claims.
“Her repeated endorsement of discrimination in the workplace—including the shocking conclusions that separate can be equal when it comes to race, that use of racial epithets does not necessarily create a hostile work environment, and that longstanding civil rights enforcement tools can be severely restricted—mark a clear willingness to jettison longstanding civil rights precedents,” Johnson said.