Ahead of the second day of Senate hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday—and after the first day saw organized protests and calls for Democrats to "walk out"—more than a dozen progressive groups railed against Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in frustration, declaring in a sharply-worded letter, "You are failing us."
"The Democratic Party's progressive base expects nothing less than all-out resistance to Trump's dangerous agenda."
—Letter to SchumerThe letter (pdf) comes from 13 organizations that have spent weeks raising alarm about President Donald Trump's deeply unpopular nominee for the nation's highest court and warning Democrats, particularly Schumer, that there will be consequences in the November midterm elections if they fail to stand united in opposition to Kavanaugh.
"Your job as Senate Democratic leader is to lead your caucus in complete opposition to Trump's attempted Supreme Court takeover," the letter continues. "But unbelievably, nearly two dozen Democrats have still not come out against Kavanaugh, and just last week, you helped Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast track 15 Trump judicial nominees. That is not the leadership we need."
Pointing to recent protests that have targeted GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), the letter emphasizes that "holding 49 Democrats is the only way we can succeed in pressuring flippable Republicans like Sens. Collins and Murkowski to listen to the Mainers and Alaskans who are demanding that they vote no on a judge who will deprive women control over their own bodies."
Characterizing Kavanaugh as "an extremist who will help institutionalize Trump's hate for a generation," the groups also acknowledge Kavanaugh's record as an appellate judge, noting concerns that he will prevent women from obtaining abortions, help the Trump administration gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "decimate Obamacare, supercharge voter suppression," and serve as "Trump's get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to the Mueller investigation."
"Voters in West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and Alabama care deeply about women having control over the bodies, protecting the health of their families, clean air and water, defending our democracy, and standing up to greedy billionaires and racist politicians who are using our differences to scare and distract us while they line their pockets," the letter reminds Schumer.
"The Democratic Party's progressive base expects nothing less than all-out resistance to Trump's dangerous agenda. They want to elect candidates who will stand up for the people Trump threatens, not ones who compromise or cower as he and Republicans run the table in Congress and the courts," it concludes. "Anything less than 49 Democratic votes against Kavanaugh would be a massive failure of your leadership."
The groups that sent the letter to the Senate's top Democrat are CREDO, Democracy for America, Indivisible, UltraViolet, 350.org, Color Of Change, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Friends of the Earth, Justice Democrats, Social Security Works, #VOTEPROCHOICE, and Women's March. Several of those groups, and others, have created a website to track where each senator stands on Kavanaugh and enable constituents to contact their elected officials.