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Ending Employment Discrimination: Women in the Workplace

Especially in this unsteady economy, people who are struggling to pay their bills shouldn’t have to worry about whether they are being discriminated against in the workplace.

Ending Employment Discrimination: LGBT Equality in the Workplace

ENDA will assist both employees and employers alike in establishing a more open, equal, and fair work environment.

United For the People

Featured at this year's Netroots Nation, check out our new United For the People web portal featuring all the organizations that are united in the belief that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United must be remedied by a Constitutional amendment in order to restore the democratic promise of America.

Supreme Court Slams the Courthouse Door on Women Facing Discrimination

Today, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, reversing a 9th Circuit Court decision and making it much more difficult to hold large corporations accountable for their treatment of employees.

PFAW Report: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Hate-Monger Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is an extreme Religious Right commentator, spokesman for the American Family Association and talk-show host. He specializes in serving up a daily dose of vitriolic hate against gays and lesbians, non-Christians, progressives and virtually anyone who disagrees with his fanatical interpretation of the Constitution and the Bible.

The GOP’s Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer

Meet Bryan Fischer, a Right Wing extremist who tirades against gays and lesbians, Muslims, progressives, members of the military and President Obama. Prominent Republican leaders and conservative activists increasingly lend undeserved credibility to him, reflecting the GOP’s embrace of the Right Wing’s escalating radicalism.

Judiciary Committee Republicans: Delay for Delay’s Sake

To: Interested Parties
From: Marge Baker, Executive Vice President, People For the American Way
Re: Judiciary Committee Republicans: Delay for Delay’s Sake
Date: June 15, 2011 

This Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nominations of three of President Obama’s judicial nominees:  Steve Six (for the Tenth Circuit), Marina Garcia Marmolejo (for the Southern District of Texas), and Michael C. Green (for the Western District of New York).

Actually, the committee was originally scheduled to vote on these three nominations a week earlier, on June 9.  However, because Republican obstructionism has become the rule, not one person ever believed for even a second that the committee would actually vote as scheduled.  And no one gasped in surprise that day when Senator Chuck Grassley, the committee’s ranking Republican, announced that his party was exercising its prerogative to hold the vote over by a week.

That’s because since President Obama took office, virtually every one of his judicial nominees has had his or her committee vote delayed by Republicans by at least a week. This is true for Supreme Court Justices, circuit court judges, and even district court judges.  The routine use of this hold, without cause and almost without exception, is unprecedented.

Looked at in isolation, it might not appear all that harmful.  However, it is part of a larger set of procedural roadblocks the Senate GOP uses to obstruct confirmation of qualified nominees whose only “fault” is that they were nominated by a Democratic president.  The cynical abuse of this tactic makes clear that the actions of Senate Republicans toward President Obama’s judicial nominees is based on partisan politics, not principle.

Voting on a federal judicial nomination is an extremely serious responsibility and one that requires diligent research and thought.  So if senators sincerely have questions that have not been answered, or genuine and substantial concerns about a nominee’s fitness for the bench, then no one should begrudge them an extra few days to gather additional information.

But when Republicans exercise this option for every nominee, even those who are strongly supported by their home state Republican senators and have no opposition whatsoever, then their sincerity must be called into question.

The Senate has confirmed more than 70 of President Obama’s nominees without opposition.  In every case but four, committee Republicans exercised their prerogative to delay committee consideration of these consensus nominees by at least one week.  That begs the question:  Why?  What did they need to learn during the delay?  That is a question that should be posed to every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee about every one of these consensus nominees.

Take the nomination of Sue E. Myerscough for a judicial emergency district court seat in Illinois as a typical example.  She was first nominated in July of 2010, was deemed unanimously well qualified by the ABA, had a committee hearing in September, submitted responses to senators’ written questions, had her committee vote scheduled and delayed two weeks, was approved by the committee without opposition on December 1 ... and was one of the 43 qualified nominees needlessly denied a floor vote when the lame duck session of Congress ended.

By the time President Obama renominated her in early January, she was so well known to the committee that they did not require her to testify anew  or to submit new responses to written questions.  She was scheduled for a committee vote February 3, but committee Republicans exercised their option to delay that vote to the 17th, at which point she was again approved without opposition, leading to her unopposed confirmation by the Senate in March.

Senator Grassley and his fellow Republicans on the committee should explain why they demanded that the committee vote be held over a week.  There was no information they lacked, since they did not have her re-testify or submit new written responses to questions.  They had no serious concerns about her nomination, since they had already supported her in 2010 and ended up supporting her again once the vote was allowed.  Can they cite anything they learned during the week’s delay?

Sue Myerscough’s nomination is hardly unique.  No matter who the nominee is, no matter how qualified, no matter if confirmation is needed to address a judicial emergency, all the nominees have something in common: They were nominated by a Democratic president, and that is all the reason Republicans need to obstruct the process and sabotage the judicial branch of the United States government.

In so doing, they are living up to the vow made by right wing leaders in the opening days of the Obama presidency:  to function as a “resistance movement” rather than as responsible participants in an electoral democracy.

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Debate Takeaway: Not A Single Moderate in the GOP Field

Last night’s Republican presidential debate broke little new ground, but the true takeaway couldn’t be any clearer: among the seven hopefuls on stage last night, not a single candidate can credibly be called “moderate.”

Perry Rally Spokesman Says Event is Meant to Convert Non-Christians; PFAW Urges Governor to Drop Support

Today, a spokesman for “The Response,” a rally spearheaded by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, told American Family Radio that the event would be open to people of all faiths…but with the goal of encouraging non-Christians to “seek out the living Christ.”

Questions for the Candidates: What We’d Like to See Asked at Tonight’s GOP Debate

Tonight, seven prominent candidates for the Republican presidential nomination will take part in a debate in New Hampshire. As these candidates introduce themselves to Republican primary voters, it’s important for them to speak honestly about their visions for the future of the country.

African American Ministers In Action Supports A Voice for the District of Columbia

Speaking out against several policy riders that have been passed or threatened by conservatives in Congress, Delegate Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, DC Vote, and members of the civil rights community voiced their support for autonomy and the right to self-government for the people of the District of Columbia.

Condemning Extreme Social Policy Riders, PFAW Calls For DC Voting Rights

Speaking out against several policy riders that have been passed or threatened by conservatives in Congress, Delegate Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, DC Vote, and members of the civil rights community voiced their support for autonomy and the right to self-government for the people of the District of Columbia.

Ten Questions for Tim Pawlenty

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty threw his hat into the ring as a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination earlier this month. Here are ten questions that we think Pawlenty ought to answer about his record and his intentions.

Why is the GOP keeping women and people of color off the bench?

To: Interested Parties
From: Marge Baker
Re: Why is the GOP keeping women and people of color off the bench?
Date: May 31, 2011

Last week, all Senate Republicans except Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski united to block Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, from getting an up or down confirmation vote.

PFAW Applauds Ruling Against Wisconsin Back-Room Efforts to Strip Workers' Rights

A circuit court in Wisconsin said state senators used illegal tactics to pass Governor Scott Walker’s signature piece of legislation: an immensely unpopular bill that removed nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers. The ruling invalidates the law.

Goodwin Liu Withdraws Nomination; PFAW Blasts Senate GOP's Smear Campaign

Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu requested that President Obama withdraw his nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Liu, who was first nominated to the position two years ago, was refused an up-or-down vote by Senate Republicans.

African American Ministers in Action Supports ENDA and Urges Cosponsorship

If we’re going to build the beloved community that Dr. King spoke of, we must be conscious of discrimination, no matter where it rears its ugly head. As African American ministers, we know what it takes to stand up against systemic oppression. It is in solidarity and love that we recognize the plight of others and support this struggle for the same protections. Passage of ENDA would be a major step in the right direction.

Senate Republicans Block Vote on Nomination of Goodwin Liu, Double Down on Partisan Obstruction

Republicans today used procedural tactics to block an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Flashback: GOP Senators Claim Filibusters of Judicial Nominees are Unconstitutional

The impending cloture vote on the Goodwin Liu nomination will be an important test to separate those senators who stand on principle from those who put politics above all else.

Tell the Senate: We've Had Enough Delay. Stop Republican Obstruction.

We've had enough delay and procedural foot dragging. It's time to stop Republican obstruction of judicial nominees.
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