WASHINGTON —Just a few hours after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s coffin was taken to the Supreme Court to lay in repose for two days, nearly 100 activists marched from the court to Republican headquarters to urge Senate Republicans to prioritize further federal coronavirus relief rather than voting on a nominee for the next justice.
The non-profit organization Casa in Action led the march to the Republican National Committee headquarters to protest the Senate GOP’s plan to confirm a replacement for Ginsburg quickly.
“Whoever this next person may be, they’re going to potentially decide the fate of multiple generations to come,” community organizer Alex Vazquez said. “We want people to take away (from this event) the significance of losing a person who spent most of her life fighting for equality.”
President Donald Trump announced that he will reveal his nominee on Saturday. A majority of the Senate is Republican, 53-47, which means at least four from the majority would have to vote against confirming a nominee. So far, only Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have opposed a Senate confirmation vote.
“People are trying to pay their respects to her and they (Republicans) are just trying to throw the seat up as soon as possible,” Vazquez said.
Many of the protesters pointed specific criticism towards the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell through their chants and signs. Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, President Barack Obama nominated federal judge Merrick Garland to replace Scalia. McConnell quickly expressed that the nomination shouldn’t be made until after the election later that year.
“We’re here to protest the hypocrisy that the Republicans have brought to the table,” Vazquez said. “We want to make sure we hold them to their word.”
The march began with a moment of silence as protesters mourned the death of Ginsburg, holding white roses as they approached the Supreme Court building. Throughout the rest of the march, the activists loudly chanted and beat on drums.
“As a community organizer, I can feel the impact that the community has felt with her loss,” Vazquez said.
Speaking in front the RNC headquarters, LaDon Love, executive director of SPACES in Action, said, “The priority is not identifying a person for the Supreme Court. We need to make sure that the [relief package] includes all working families. We will exclude no one.”
Several of the speakers urged marchers and others to take direct action. Vazquez said people should register to vote and call their senators and representative to work on COVID-19 relief.