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A Voice for Our Ocean

STATEMENT: Ocean Conservancy CEO on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Dilemma Facing the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Janis Searles Jones (@InVeritas_Jones), CEO of Ocean Conservancy in reaction to the passing of Justice Ginsberg and the dilemma facing the Senate:

I am deeply saddened by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while at the same time, inspired by her legacy as an advocate and the ideals she left us with. As a lifelong conservationist and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, I am committed to upholding her ideals and values.

As a litigator, Justice Ginsburg was a brilliant strategist, selecting cases that would build toward lasting achievements. As a Justice, she played a key role in extending legal protections to women, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and other historically marginalized groups.

As an attorney and mother, she was a role model and a trail blazer: a brilliant working mom who changed the world in ways that allowed us to walk through the doors she opened and follow our own paths.

As a mission-driven organization, and as part of civil society, Ocean Conservancy must have faith and trust in our democratic guardrails. The Constitution is based on a series of checks and balances that in the end transcends party politics.

We are deeply troubled by the fact that the Senate appears set to rush headlong against its own stated principles regarding the fair filling of Supreme Court vacancies. This transparently political act of bad faith not only debases the leadership of the Senate, it risks eroding the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a neutral arbiter of law – a critical foundation of our functioning, transparent democracy. This is not just another political fight—this is about respecting our democratic institutions, norms and values.

In this time of a global pandemic and a fractious election season, we should be guided by Justice Ginsburg’s lifelong pursuit of a more perfect union that includes all Americans. For the future of our democratic institutions, we cannot let the filling of a Supreme Court vacancy devolve into an exercise of raw political power that erodes our foundational principles of non-partisan judicial independence and respect. We urge Senators not fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat until after the next Presidential inauguration.