Supreme Court nominations

Hillary Clinton Lays Out Her Vision For the Supreme Court

In an op-ed today in the Boston Globe, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes on what may be the biggest issue at stake in the 2016 election: the future of the US Supreme Court.

The court’s decisions have a profound impact on American families. In the past two decades alone, it effectively declared George W. Bush president, significantly weakened the Voting Rights Act, and opened the door to a flood of unaccountable money in our politics. It also made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, preserved the Affordable Care Act not once but twice, and ensured equal access to education for women.

On Election Day, three of the current justices will be over 80 years old, which is past the court’s average retirement age. The next president could easily appoint more than one justice. That makes this a make-or-break moment — for the court and our country.

That’s true. As People For the American Way recently laid out in our Judgment Day report, virtually every single important issue—from voting rights to guns to reproductive freedom to workplace fairness to the environment and beyond—will be at stake before the Supreme Court. And because the Justices most likely to retire in the next few years come from both sides of the bench, our country has the opportunity to pull the Court from its dangerous rightward lurch of the last decade—or to solidify a far-right majority for a generation.

But just as important as preventing the next president from appointing more Justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas and Alito, we need to elect a President who will appoint extraordinary jurists who understand the profoundly progressive nature of our constitution. In her op-ed, Senator Clinton lays out what that looks like.

As president (and a lawyer and former law professor), I’ll appoint justices who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint; make sure the scales of justice aren’t tipped away from individuals toward corporations and special interests; and protect citizens’ right to vote, rather than billionaires’ right to buy elections.

Secretary Clinton isn’t alone in laying out a progressive vision for the Court. Senator Bernie Sanders has spoken repeatedly about the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and how we need to "overturn this disastrous decision.”  And Governor Martin O’Malley has promised to “appoint judges who don't think corporations are people.”

All of this is good news for progressives—and why People For the American Way has been pushing so hard for more conversation about the importance of the Supreme Court as we head into the 2016 election. But it’s not enough.

In the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to push candidates of both parties to make clear what kind of judges they’d appoint to our nation’s highest courts, because, as Secretary Clinton says, “There’s a lot at stake in this election. Nowhere is this clearer than in the US Supreme Court.”
 

PFAW

Supreme Court Nominations: An Issue Affecting All Other Issues, in 2016 and Beyond

In the past decade, scores of Supreme Court decisions addressing some of the most fundamental questions in our country have hinged on the vote of a single Supreme Court justice. Who can marry? Can everyone access the ballot box? Can women be denied reproductive health care? Can corporations flood elections with money?

In past 5-4 decisions on questions like these, from Citizens United to Hobby Lobby to Obergefell, the impact of each presidential Supreme Court nomination on our rights and liberties is clear. And for future decisions, Election Day 2016 – when Americans elect a president who will almost certainly be nominating one or more new justices – becomes a “judgment day” for our rights going forward.

A new PFAW report out today, “Judgment Day 2016,” looks at 80 5-4 decisions the Court has issued since Bush-nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito joined the Court ten years ago in key areas like money and politics; civil and voting rights; LGBT rights; women’s rights; workplace fairness; protecting the environment, and more. On a range of issues, the report underscores what’s at stake when Americans vote next November.

As principal report author and PFAW Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg put it:

In the 2016 election, the Supreme Court is on the ballot…Our next president may very well be nominating three or more Supreme Court justices who could tip the balance in critically important cases.

You can read the report here.

PFAW

People For Raises Awareness of the 'Romney Court' on Sotomayor Anniversary

PFAW Activists Rally Outside Romney Headquarters in Greentree, PA

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor officially assuming her office as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. People for the American Way, in partnership with other progressive organizations including NARAL and the AFL-CIO, marked the occasion with activists on the ground in the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

At a campaign event in Colorado yesterday, President Obama underscored the importance of the election for its impact on the future of the court.

Today is the three-year anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor taking her seat on the Supreme Court. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Elena Kagan taking her seat on the Supreme Court. So let's be very clear -- the next President could tip the balance of the Court in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come. The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear.

People For president Michael Keegan also laid out the stakes in the Huffington Post.

President Obama’s decisions to nominate Justices Kagan and Sotomayor prove his commitment to selecting qualified jurists and building a more representative and inclusive court that respects the Constitution and the rights of every American. Mitt Romney’s decision to turn to ultra-conservative judge Robert Bork for judicial counsel is a clear signal that he would only appoint far-right figures to the Supreme Court, judges that are even further to the right than Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia.

It’s difficult to imagine a more conservative court than the one we have now, but that’s exactly what a Romney presidency would bring. With critical issues such as reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, campaign finance, and worker protections almost certain to come before the court next presidential term, stakes have never been higher.

For more on Mitt Romney’s dangerous vision for the Supreme Court, visit Romneycourt.com.

Yesterday, PFAW avtivists were featured on Ohio Public Radio:

 

ONN Tv,

and Ohio Capital Blog:

PFAW

Top Ten Highlights from the Kagan Hearings

Despite predictions to the contrary, the Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan presented the best public discussion of judging, the courts, and the Constitution in decades. We've selected some of the most interesting moments from four days of hearings.

Previewing the Right Wing Playbook on the Kagan Confirmation Hearings

When Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement plans, the Right swung into action with a plan to make the confirmation process just one more part of their 2010 and 2012 political strategies.

Senator Cornyn Exposes Right’s Hypocrisy on Judicial Philosophy

Senator John Cornyn today accused Solicitor General Elena Kagan of displaying “disregard for the First Amendment and freedom of speech” by defending laws that limited corporate influence on elections.

People For Statement on the Nomination of Elena Kagan

President Obama today nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the vacancy left by departing Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens -- the confirmation process will present a unique opportunity for a dialogue about the role of the Court and the meaning of our Constitution.

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.

Editorial Memo: The Right's Recycled Supreme Court Strategy

Right-wing advocates who have made a decades-long push to bring federal courts under ideological domination are planning to wage a campaign against any nominee President Obama makes to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

The Rise of the Corporate Court: How the Supreme Court is Putting Business First

PFAW has released a new report exposing the undue deference the Supreme Court has paid to corporations at the expense of the legal rights of individuals.

SCOTUS Pick Should Serve 'Everyday People'

PFAW's Marge Baker says that the SCOTUS nominee should serve "Everyday People."

Snapshot of Important Stevens Cases

A sampling of important and historic Supreme Court cases that are frequently associated with Justice John Paul Stevens.

Justice Stevens to Retire from the Supreme Court

Today Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the term, giving President Obama his second opportunity to nominate a jurist for our nation’s Highest Court

In Historic Senate Vote, Judge Sonia Sotomayor Confirmed to the Supreme Court

By a vote of 68 to 31, the Senate today confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. PFAW's Marge Baker called her confirmation "a historic step for the nation and a triumph of the American way."

Senate Judiciary Committee Votes in Favor of Sotomayor

Judge Sotomayor is one step closer to confirmation to the Supreme Court with today's Senate Judiciary Committee vote to send her nomination to the full Senate.

Sotomayor Excels at Day Two of Confirmation Hearings

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor performed exceptionally in her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings this week. See some of our coverage of the hearings on Facebook, Twitter or here on our blog. Please sign the petition to the Senate urging the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor if you have not already

Senator Hatch Attacks Straw Man over Ricci 'Smear'

People For the American Way responds to Orrin Hatch's comments at the confirmation hearing of Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Day One of Confirmation Hearings a Big Win for Sotomayor

The first day of hearings for the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor concluded today with Judge Sotomayor's opening statement. People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement: "Today's hearings went exceptionally well for Judge Sotomayor, and I think she made it very clear why President Obama chose to nominate her for a seat on our nation's highest Court."

PFAW Statement on Frank Ricci Discrimination Cases

PFAW statement about the important role that employment discrimination laws play for all Americans and the Right's use of loaded terms like "reverse discrimination" to attack Judge Sotomayor over the decision in Ricci v. DeStefano.

Supreme Court Rules Against Diversity in Ricci

The Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 to overturn the Second Circuit’s decision in Ricci v. DeStefano. The Court's ruling severely limits the ability of governments and private corporations to create a diverse workforce.
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