UAW Statement on the Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court Justice

“UAW members and our nation need Senate leadership to take pause this close to a presidential election and let whoever is rightfully elected to be president in November nominate the next Supreme Court Justice.

The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, given her past decisions, would most certainly create concerns for working families in a non-election year, let alone amid a national election. Her judicial record and legal writings demonstrate she will likely rollback civil rights, worker’s rights, and accessible health care for all. During her judicial career, she has undermined protections for older workers, made it harder to sue management for overtime pay, and in one case, rubber stamped a corporate racial segregation scheme defying the intent of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964. Both UAW President Walter Reuther and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the passage of CRA and were present at its signing.

The stakes around filling this vacancy could not be higher. In the last several years alone, the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, has weakened collective bargaining rights for public sector workers (Janus v. AFSCME) and retiree health care (CNH v. Reese).  The CNH vs. Reese decision allowed employers to take away health care from UAW retirees that they had agreed to at the bargaining table. In November, the Court will again decide whether to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  If overturned, protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions would be stripped away and tens of millions could lose coverage and protections from unfair practices by insurance companies.

We ask the United States Senate to do the right thing and slow this process down by giving working families and UAW members certainty that these long-lasting decisions will be made through the lens of all Americans. Instead, we urge the U.S. Senate to schedule a vote on the HEROES act so we can provide long overdue COVID-19 relief to a country in crisis. Filling the Supreme Court justice seat should not be rushed.  It should be a thoughtful, deliberate process to ensure the Court’s highest principles of democracy, fairness and justice are upheld.

Justice Ginsburg once wisely pointed out, “We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words: ‘We, the people.’”

Let’s honor Justice Ginsburg’s last wish that her seat not be filled until the next president is decided. It is the right thing to do.”