ICYMI: Pressure Builds on John James to Stop Hiding His Position on SCOTUS Vacancy

Nearly a dozen Michigan and national leaders, advocacy organizations call on James to answer whether he stands with Michigan or McConnell 

Detroit Free Press fact check: “James is the only Senate candidate in a battleground state who has refused to take a position”

It’s now been a week of failed politician John James refusing to answer basic questions on whether he supports Mitch McConnelll and Donald Trump ramming through a Supreme Court nominee after voting has already begun in Michigan. James has declined to comment on his position to four separate media outlets including Associated Press, MLive, Detroit Free Press (twice!), and Gongwer this week. And a Detroit Free Press fact check has confirmed that “James is the only Senate candidate in a battleground state who has refused to take a position” on SCOTUS.

With so much on the line, elected officials and advocacy groups from across the Great Lakes state are calling on James to take a clear stance on whether he supports McConnell or Michiganders in choosing the next Supreme Court justice for a lifetime appointment. Despite trying to hide his position, James said in his own words that his “2,000%” support for Trump is specifically for his “agenda of placing textualist Supreme Court justices on the bench.”

Read more on Michigan and national leaders demanding James come clean with Michiganders: 

Michigan’s U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow: “There is no ‘maybe button’ in the United States Senate — you either have to vote yes or no. Once again, John James is trying to have it both ways and hide his real position from Michigan voters. This is a pivotal time for our country with health care for millions of Michiganders at stake. Michigan voters being casting their ballots tomorrow. They deserve to know if John James is ‘2,000%’ behind Trump and Mitch McConnell or if he will honor the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and let Michigan voters decide the future direction of our country.”

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes: “John James must be honest with voters on whether Mitch McConnell or Michiganders – who are voting today – should decide the next Supreme Court justice. At a time when so much is at stake, including protections for 1.7 million Michiganders with pre-existing conditions, James is proving he’d fall in line with party leaders instead of letting Michiganders voices be heard.”

Barb McQuade, former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan: “Michigan Senate candidate John James won’t share his views on Trump and McConnell’s push to nominate Supreme Court justice before the election, with voting already underway. James is the Aaron Burr of 2020 — If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”

State Representative Mari Manoogian: “Michiganders begin voting today but McConnell and Trump are attempting to rush through a nomination – without allowing our voices to be heard. Despite trying to hide his position, John James is ‘2,000%’ with Trump and McConnell as they ram through a Supreme Court nomination and push a lawsuit to gut protections for pre-existing conditions.”

Protect Our Care Michigan Michigan State Director Dianne Byrum: “Health care and protections for pre-existing conditions are on the ballot now more than ever with the Supreme Court vacancy. If Trump and McConnell have their way, their lawsuit would gut the Affordable Care Act, and strip coverage protections for pre-existing conditions with it – in the middle of a pandemic. By sticking with his party leaders and hiding his positions, John James has shown he can’t be trusted to protect health care or be an independent voice for Michigan.”

Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights: “John James, a candidate running for one of the highest offices in the United States, is the only Senate candidate in a battleground state who has refused to take a stand on whether he supports a vote to confirm a Supreme Court candidate immediately or whether he would prefer to wait until after the results of the November election. He has repeatedly declined to answer questions from multiple media outlets on his position.”

Human Rights Campaign Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman: “Right now, America is more divided than it has ever been, and the country is in constant turmoil and chaos.  A rushed political fight over the Supreme Court in the middle of an election will only add to the chaos and division and make things worse.  Mitch McConnell and his anti-equality allies in the Senate don’t care about the lasting damage they’re doing to our institutions and our democracy and it appears John James is willing to enable them with his silence on the current Supreme Court vacancy. So much is at stake in this election for Michiganders, including the future of LGBTQ rights in housing and social safety net programs, health care for people with pre-existing conditions, voting rights, and reproductive rights. John James would enable Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell to further divide us and roll back our rights. It’s more important than ever we re-elect Gary Peters, who will preserve the integrity of the courts, unite all Michiganders, and stand up for equality.”

Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO: “John James is the only candidate running for US Senate in a battleground state who has refused to let voters know where he stands on Trump and McConnell’s efforts to ramrod a Supreme Court nominee onto the court before the general election is held. There is so much at stake for working Michiganders – including protections for pre-existing conditions and our right to organize together for better wages and safe worksites – and voters deserve to know where he stands before casting their ballots. This is just the latest in James’ pattern of hiding his position from Michiganders, whether it’s his ‘2,000%’ support for Trump or his support for repealing the health care law that protects 1.7 million people across our state who have pre-existing conditions.”

Angela Vasquez-Giroux, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Michigan Spokesperson: “Women in Michigan know our reproductive rights and access to health care are on the line. What we don’t know is whether John James thinks we deserve a say in who appoints the next Supreme Court Justice, because he won’t tell us. He’s hiding. We need leaders who aren’t afraid to take a stand for women in Michigan, who believe we have a right to control our own bodies and make our own medical decisions. We know where Senator Gary Peters stands, and we’re proud to stand with him.”

Kelley Robinson, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund: “The nation is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and crippled our economy, and yet Senate leaders are promising to rush through and confirm any nominee, even as they continue to ignore the devastating consequences of this public health crisis. Our rights, our health, and our futures are on the line — the people must decide who will nominate the next justice to join the highest court in the land. If John James doesn’t agree with that, Michiganders deserve to know.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Ilyse Hogue: “Senator Peters is running for reelection against anti-choice Republican John James, who has refused to take a position on whether he supports installing an anti-choice, anti-freedom nominee to the Supreme Court. James has already created a rigid anti-choice litmus test for any Supreme Court nominee. At a time when so much is on the line for Michigan and for our nation, James remains silent — even as Michiganders are beginning to cast their ballots for the November election starting today.”

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