With less than a month until Inauguration Day, progressive Americans are growing increasingly ready to close the book on the Trump presidency and start to rebuild our democracy.
Just this year alone, Trump’s bigotry, political corruption and attacks on our democracy have included his impeachment trial, the hijacking of a Supreme Court seat, and the continued assault on immigrant communities. He has also exacerbated human tragedies that have unfolded this year, including his colossal failure of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating economic impact, and the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black Americans at the hands of a law enforcement system plagued by systemic racism.
President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their administration will soon face the daunting prospect of healing our nation’s wounds and restoring our commitment to fully realizing America’s promise of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all.
People For the American Way believes that the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration offer a unique opportunity to take immediate action against the injustices our country has endured and offer relief to those among us who are suffering. Now is the moment for bold, visionary measures toward our shared goals, and we have articulated our priorities to the incoming administration in a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team.
Our goals and priorities for the administration’s first 100 days include:
Prioritizing the Nomination and Confirmation of Judges
To mitigate the damage that Trump’s judicial appointees have done to our constitutionally protected civil rights, President-elect Biden should commit to nominating fair-minded judges and justices who reflect the diversity of the American people (including scaling back the American Bar Association’s outsized role in the nominations process). He should nominate judges who understand that the law should protect all of us – not just the white, wealthy and well-connected. In addition, the White House should insist on the Senate’s prompt consideration of judicial nominees and oppose any efforts to reinstate any related rules and practices that Republicans in Congress have abandoned during the Trump era.
Protecting and Strengthening Our Democracy
Trump’s complete disregard of our democratic norms, values, and processes has deeply imperiled our country. Biden must protect our democracy and work toward a government that is truly of, for, and by all of the people by restoring our census to count all individuals, including undocumented immigrants, in the U.S. In addition, the administration must instruct the Department of Justice to resume its role as the country’s primary protector of voting rights and ensure that all people have the information they need to register to vote.
Ending Trump’s Cruelty Against Immigrants
Trump’s horrific immigration policies and actions have caused immeasurable trauma to thousands of people who sought safety or the promise of prosperity in the U.S. The Biden administration must immediately take whatever steps are necessary to reunite immigrant children separated from their families by the outgoing administration. In addition, the president-elect must also temporarily freeze all deportations and rescind Trump’s damaging immigration policies, orders and actions to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the Muslim immigration ban.
Restoring Civil Rights and Protections
Under the Trump administration, our civil rights, liberties, and other protections have been diminished or distorted, causing undue suffering to people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, the Muslim community, and other vulnerable populations. The incoming administration should work with DOJ and other federal agencies to restore our rights and protections and to stop to any policy that enables illegal abuse and the criminalization of people of color, including at the state and local levels. As well, President-elect Biden should order the correct application of the Free Exercise Clause and statutes like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and resume diversity, equity and inclusion training for federal agencies, contractors and grantees.
You can read the full letter here.