Supreme Court nomination

New Report Details Consequences of an Eight-Member Supreme Court

Today, People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) and the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) released the new report, “Material Harm to Our System of Justice: The Consequences of an Eight-Member Supreme Court.”

The report details:

  • Statements by current and former Supreme Court justices – including Scalia, Rehnquist, and Roberts – on the importance of a nine-justice Supreme Court.
  • Ramifications we’ve already seen from an eight-member Court. This includes the effects of 4-4 decisions like Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore and Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, and the Supreme Court punting in Zubik v. Burwell.
  • The growing ideological divisions on the Court, making split decisions more likely.
  • Why an eight-member Court could endanger voting rights leading up to the 2016 elections.
  • How individuals and companies are impacted by an eight-member Court on a wide variety of issues including healthcare, banking, and more.

Read the report here.

Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra stated:

“The virus of dysfunction afflicting the Senate is showing symptoms at the Court, and the prospect of this blockade extending from the current Term into the next is outrageous. Former Justices have spoken on the need for a fully staffed Court, including former Chief Justice Rehnquist and even Justice Scalia in years past, as well as former Justices Stevens and O'Connor in recent weeks. As today’s report explains, an understaffed Court is hamstrung by its inability to fully perform its essential role in resolving important constitutional and legal questions for the American people.”

People For the American Way Foundation Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg added:

“The current obstruction that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Garland is facing is unprecedented, and there are real consequences for the American people because of this obstruction. Current and former Supreme Court justices – including Scalia, Roberts, and Rehnquist – have detailed the reasons why the Court needs nine members to properly execute its duties. From 4-4 splits that fail to set national precedent to potentially blocking the Court’s ability to protect voting rights, an eight-member Supreme Court simply cannot function as it should.”

To schedule an interview with PFAW Foundation and/or CAC experts on this report, please email lepstein@pfaw.org or Pennington@theusconstitution.org.

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PFAW Releases Spanish-Language Ad Criticizing McCain, Flake for Holding Supreme Court Seat Open for Trump

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) released a Spanish-language radio ad in Arizona criticizing Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake for refusing to give fair consideration to Judge Merrick Garland, making clear that they’d prefer to have Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump fill the seat. The ad, the first of its kind talking specifically to Latino voters about Trump and the Supreme Court vacancy, will run for a week on Spanish-language radio in Arizona.

PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! and Manager of Political Campaigns Lizet Ocampo stated:

“Donald Trump is a bigot who has called Mexican immigrants rapists, supports mass deportation, and referred to women as ‘pigs’ and ‘dogs.’ Yet Senators McCain and Flake would rather hold the seat open for him to fill than do their job and give fair consideration to an extraordinarily well qualified nominee like Judge Merrick Garland. It’s nothing short of disgraceful.”

Spanish-language ad:

Listen in English:

Script:

Sabemos que la Corte Suprema toma algunas de las decisiones más importantes como la inmigración, el derecho a votar y la salud.

Y estas decisiones afectan a nuestros amigos, a nuestras familias y a nuestra comunidad.

Entonces, ¿Por qué los Senadores McCain y Flake se rehúsan a cumplir con su responsabilidad y bloquean al candidato del presidente Obama?

¿Será porque quieren que sea Donald Trump, la persona que dijo que los inmigrantes mexicanos eran violadores y traficantes de drogas, quién nombre a nuestro siguiente juez de la Corte Suprema?

Al no cumplir con su responsabilidad, nuestros senadores están haciendo el típico juego sucio de los republicanos. ¡Que vergüenza!

McCain y Flake deben confirmar al Juez de la Corte Suprema nominado por Obama; y dejar de hacer lo que les pide Trump.

Este mensaje es pagado por People For the American Way, www.pfaw.org, y no está autorizado por ningún candidato o comité de candidato. People For the American Way es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio. 

English translation:

We know the Supreme Court makes some of the most important decisions like immigration, voting rights, and health care. And these decisions affect our friends, families, and community.

So why are Senators McCain and Flake refusing to do their job – and blocking President Obama's nominee?

Is it because they want to see Donald Trump – the man who called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers – get to name our next  Supreme Court Justice?!

By not doing their job, our Senators are playing dirty Republican tricks.

What a disgrace!

McCain and Flake need to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee – and stop doing Donald Trump’s bidding.

Paid for by People For the American Way(www.pfaw.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. People For the American Way is responsible for the content of this advertising.
 

Sorry You Missed Sen. Johnson’s Party!

Milwaukee, WI – To celebrate Sen. Johnson’s birthday, Wisconsin activists with People For the American Way, Organizing for Action, Voces de la Frontera, One Wisconsin Now, and Emerge Wisconsin gathered at Sen. Johnson’s Milwaukee office to throw him a birthday party – and send the message that while everyone, even Sen. Johnson, deserves a great birthday party, it’s time for him to end his partisan obstruction and give fair consideration to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Activists tried to deliver Sen. Johnson and his staff a birthday cake with the message, “Happy Birthday Ron Johnson! Now, #DoYourJob” (pictures are below and attached). Unfortunately, Sen. Johnson and his staff didn’t choose to join in the celebration.

PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval stated:

“We hoped to celebrate our senator’s birthday with him, but it seems like just as he doesn’t have time to do his job and give fair consideration to Supreme Court nominee Judge Garland, he doesn’t have time to enjoy some delicious cake with his constituents!

“Now that the party’s over, it’s high time for Sen. Johnson to follow the Constitution and push for hearings and a vote for Judge Garland.”

Pictures from today’s birthday party:

  

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NH Voters Call on Sen. Ayotte to End Supreme Court Obstruction

Nashua, NH – Outside of Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s district office, Granite Staters joined to demonstrate against Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her obstruction aimed at President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Participants called on Sen. Ayotte to give fair consideration – timely hearings and an up-or-down vote – to Judge Garland.

“Sen. Ayotte has a constitutional responsibility to give fair consideration to judicial nominations,” said Lindsay Jakows, New Hampshire Campaign Organizer with People For the American Way, “It’s time for her to do her job and stop ignoring the majority of Granite Staters who want to see the Supreme Court vacancy filled this year. She should put principle over partisanship instead of trying to hold a Supreme Court seat open for President Trump or President Cruz.”

Most New Hampshire voters, including 60% of independent voters in New Hampshire, support filling the Supreme Court vacancy this year, yet Sen. Ayotte continues to stand firm against giving fair consideration to Judge Garland.

Pictures from today’s events:

   

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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Statement on Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s Continued Obstruction

In response to Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s willingness to meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but only “to explain [her] position,” not to give real consideration to Garland, Lindsay Jakows, New Hampshire Campaign Organizer with People For the American Way, made the following statement:

“The Constitution calls on Senators to give fair consideration to a President’s Supreme Court nominee, meaning a hearing and a vote. Ayotte’s announcement that she’ll meet with Judge Garland to ‘explain [her] position’ falls far short of her doing her job and following the priorities of Granite Staters. Garland deserves a fair consideration, and Senator Ayotte should call on her party leadership to make sure that’s what he receives.”

According to recent polling, 59% of New Hampshire voters – and 60% of independent voters in New Hampshire – support filling the Supreme Court vacancy this year.

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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Statement from Dolores Huerta on the Nomination of Merrick Garland

Civil rights leader and People For the American Way board member Dolores Huerta today applauded the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

“I’m proud to support the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, and I’m glad that President Obama decided to move the process forward even in the face of Republican threats to ignore the Constitution and block the nominee. It’s appalling that Republicans would refuse to give fair consideration to someone as qualified and committed to the Constitution as Merrick Garland.

“Latinos have a huge amount at stake at the Supreme Court. Whether it’s the fate of undocumented immigrants, or a woman’s right to choose, or the ability of workers to demand fair treatment in the workplace, the issues that matter to our community are going to be decided by the Supreme Court. It’s critical that we have someone who understands the impact that the Court’s rulings have in the real world, and it’s critical that we stand up to Republicans who want to play politics with the Constitution.”

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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PFAW Applauds Nomination of Garland to Supreme Court

People For the American Way today applauded the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“Judge Garland is a brilliant choice, and President Obama deserves credit for moving this process forward despite the GOP’s threats of obstruction,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way. “Garland has demonstrated a remarkable intellect and a deep commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law. It’s unfathomable that Senate Republicans would refuse to give fair consideration to a nominee as qualified as Judge Garland. The Constitution makes clear that the Senate has the responsibility to give fair hearings and a timely vote to whoever the president nominates to the Supreme Court. Republicans need to do their job and treat this nominee with the basic respect he deserves.”

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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Grassley's Hypocrisy Comes Out in the Ronnie White Debate

Grassley sharply criticized White for something that he was fine with when Samuel Alito did it.
PFAW

Choosing the Next Supreme Court Justice: Lessons From the Jurisprudence of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens

The announcement on April 9, 2010 that Associate Justice John Paul Stevens will retire from the Supreme Court of the United States after almost 35 years of service reminded us of the remarkable impact Justice Stevens has had on this country and created another opportunity for President Barack Obama to nominate a Supreme Court jurist.

“Independent” John Sununu Rubberstamped 100% of George Bush’s Right-Wing Judges

In New Hampshire, the state Republican Party attempted to defend Senator John Sununu’s support of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito by calling Sununu “an independent voice for New Hampshire.” People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, “If John Sununu is an independent voice, why has he voted for every single one of President Bush’s most extreme judicial nominees? On the most important votes he’s taken confirming nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench, he’s voted in lockstep with George W. Bush. He’s certainly distinguished himself as one of President Bush’s most loyal allies; he can’t reasonably be called ‘independent.’”

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