From the VA Senate Democratic Caucus:
Virginia Senate Democrats Release Statements On Recent Supreme Court Decisions
RICHMOND, VA – Members of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements on Supreme Court decisions that opened the door to more discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and blocked student debt relief for millions of people:
Senate Majority Leader Dick Salsaw:
“The Supreme Court rulings today will further a conservative agenda across the country. I am saddened for the consumers who may now face discrimination in the name of the first amendment, and I am sad for the millions of students in need of relief from the ever-growing cost of higher education.”
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke:
“Elections have consequences. The only way to mitigate the impact of the rogue SCOTUS is to VOTE, local to federal. Sam Cooke said it best, a change is gonna come.”
Senator L. Louise Lucas:
“This extremist court continues to harm our most vulnerable neighbors. For students and families struggling to keep up with the rising costs of education, striking down the Biden-Harris Administration’s program to forgive student loans strips our communities of opportunities where our students can invest in homeownership, start businesses and build generational wealth for their families. And now, thanks to 303 Creative, businesses can flagrantly discriminate against our LGBTQ+ neighbors.
Let me be absolutely clear: these decisions risk undoing decades of progress towards equality, all to appease a loud group of MAGA extremists. We know this will embolden Republican legislators across the country, and I am ready to fight proudly alongside my fellow Democrats in the Virginia Senate as the Brick Wall to protect ALL Virginians.”
Senator Scott Surovell:
“The Supreme Court of the United States is continuing to act more as a legislature than an appellate court interpreting the Constitution and has now fully weaponized the First Amendment to allow discrimination against a small minority of gay Americans who are only seeking to live their lives like everyone else.”
Senator Dave Marsden:
“After overturning Affirmative Action yesterday, today’s decisions by the Supreme Court to erode LGBTQ equality & overturn student debt forgiveness are proof that elections matter. Here in Virginia, let’s vote, donate, and volunteer for Democrats to win in November!”
Senator Ghazala Hashmi:
“The John Roberts Supreme Court, the majority of whose current members were appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote in their elections, continues to pass rulings that harm Americans. Today’s ruling in 303 Creative allows business entities to discriminate and perpetuate bigotry. It also opens a Pandora’s box of other possible discriminatory actions against individuals on the basis of religious, ethnic, or racial identities. Similarly, in striking down the Biden Administration’s program to forgive student loan debt for more than 43 million American borrowers, the right-leaning Justices continue to play political games. Loan forgiveness for students and families struggling with the high cost of education spurs local economies, helps young people invest in homes and start families, and helps a broader base of individuals begin to build generational wealth. This Supreme Court is driven by ideology and has elevated the voices and opinions of extreme conservative activists rather than the best interests of all Americans.”
Senator Barbara Favola:
“The two SCOTUS decisions released today have long term consequences on the health and well-being of all Americans. This Court is out of touch with the values of the American people and the complexities of modern-day life. A society can only thrive when everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. This means that economic, social, cultural and political processes must be inclusive. The founders of our Republic wanted a stable, representative government but this SCOTUS is issuing decisions that divide us on many fronts.
In the case of Creative LLC v Elenis, the SCOTUS ruled in favor of a Christian web designer who refused to create websites to celebrate same-sex weddings because of religious beliefs. This ruling removes an important constitutional protection against discriminatory actions of all kinds. When someone or some organization is empowered to discriminate against others because of a certain set of beliefs, we are all at risk of being discriminated against. This ruling undermines our ability to acknowledge and celebrate diversity, an important tenet in a stable democracy. It is an incredibly hurtful and disappointing decision.
In the case of Biden v. Nebraska, the SCOTUS ruled that the Biden Administration, through the Secretary of Education, does not have the authority to cancel $430 billion of student loan principal debt. About 43 million Americans would have been eligible to participate. Many were banking on this plan to help with their finances. I think Justice Kagan said it best:
“The result here is that the court substitutes itself for Congress and the executive branch in making national policy about student-loan forgiveness,”