At events outside local Congressional offices, constituents will offer to enroll Republican Senators in a “Civics 101 Refresher” by paying for the cost of taking a basic government course at a local college or community college. Attendees will carry an oversized enrollment form completed with Senators’ information and copies of Article II, Section II of the Constitution, which describes the power of the president and role of the Senate in judicial appointments. The gesture is inspired in part by the late American author Harper Lee who, in 1966, offered to enroll an entire school board in the first grade after they attempted to ban To Kill A Mockingbird from their schools.
More than three dozen national organizations are coordinating the nationwide day of action – including progressive groups like MoveOn.org Civic Action, CREDO Action, Democracy for America, Organizing for Action, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. A full list of participating organizations is below.
In Des Moines, Iowa voters will rally outside Senator Chuck Grassley’s office at 210 Walnut Street at 12pm local time. Coinciding the action, a plane will fly a banner over the rally reading “Sen. Grassley do your job! #FillTheSeat.” For more information, click here.
In Cleveland, Ohio voters will rally outside Senator Rob Portman’s office at 1240 E 9th Street at 1:30pm local time. Coinciding the action, a plane will fly a banner over the rally reading “Sen. Portman do your job! #FillTheSeat.” For more information, click here.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania voters in an action outside Senator Pat Toomey’s office at 228 Walnut Street at 12pm local time. Coinciding the action, a plane will fly a banner over the rally reading “Sen. Toomey do your job! #FillTheSeat.” For more information, click here.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin voters will rally outside Senator Ron Johnson’s offices at 200 E. Wells Street at 11am local time. Coinciding the action, a plane will fly a banner over the rally reading “Sen. Johnson do your job! #FillTheSeat.” For more information, click here.
In Austin, Texas voters outside Senator John Cornyn’s office at 221 West 6th Street at 12pm local time. Coinciding the action, a plane will fly a banner over the rally reading “Sen. Cornyn do your job! #FillTheSeat.” For more information, click here.
In addition to the events, MoveOn members and allies are also driving calls to district offices and launching a social media effort to urge Senators to advise and consider a nominee. That effort includes a major Thunderclap that is set to reach more than 76 million social media accounts – the fourth largest Thunderclap in history – urging the Senate GOP to #DoYourJob and is supported by high profile social media accounts, including those of President Obama (@barackobama) and actor Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo).
“In President Obama’s final year, Republicans want to do everything they can to obstruct and undermine his presidency, including saying they won’t consider any nominee President Obama puts forward to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Jo Comerford, MoveOn.org Civic Action campaign director. “MoveOn members and allies across the country are calling on members of Congress to do their jobs and consider a nominee. The stakes are simply too high to allow a partisan shutdown of a constitutionally-mandated process.”
“Senate Republicans don’t get to subvert the Constitution and refuse to do their jobs just because they don’t like President Obama,” said CREDO Action Political Director Murshed Zaheed. “When the American people elected and re-elected President Obama by huge margins they did so knowing he would have the opportunity to fill any Supreme Court vacancies that came up during his term in office,” Zaheed continued, adding, “obstructing President Obama’s nominee is a radical, anti-democratic power grab – and the American people aren’t buying it.”
“Americans overwhelmingly want the Senate to do its job and move the Supreme Court nomination process forward,” said Adam Green, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder. “Senate Republicans are obstructing our democracy in such a high profile and destructive way that it offends the public on a visceral level, and voters of all political stripes will make their frustration with Senate Republicans known on Election Day.”
“The untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia revealed the depths of obstructionism in Congress – specifically in the Senate,” said Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus, President, Progressive Congress. “By refusing to allow the nomination process to be carried out, the Senate Majority demonstrates a clear disrespect for the President and the office that he holds. The President is bound by his constitutional duty to nominate a Justice who he believes to be ’eminently qualified’ for consideration. It is the Senate’s constitutional duty to grant the candidate a fair hearing and an up or down vote. We hope that the senators will do their jobs and move quickly to consider the President’s nominee. The Constitution dictates that they do so – and it’s what the American people expect of their elected leaders.”
“The Republican obstructionism of the Supreme Court nomination is a slap in the face to democracy and our constitution. It’s outrageous, and the American people are disgusted with it,” said Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director of Courage Campaign. “The American people are already sick and tired of Washington dysfunction, and we’re giving Republicans two choices: Either do your job and give Chief Judge Garland a fair hearing, or pay for it in November.”
“Since taking control of the Senate last year, Republicans have refused to do their job on judicial nominations,” said Christopher Kang, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans National Director. “In 2015, the Senate confirmed only 11 judges–the fewest in more than 50 years. Now, Republicans are taking their obstruction to the highest court in the land, and for the first time in history, a pending Supreme Court nominee may be denied even a hearing. The Senate must uphold the Constitution and support our third branch of government by promptly considering the President’s Supreme Court nominee and his lower court nominees as well.”
“Americans deserve a full Supreme Court bench, and President Obama’s nominee deserves a hearing. There is no doubt that Merrick Garland is a highly qualified candidate, and the Senate has a Constitutional responsibility to give him swift and fair consideration,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The Supreme Court has a sacred responsibility to uphold the rights of all citizens, and we must hold accountable any politicians who tamper with our nation’s highest court for their own gain.”
“Sen. Mitch McConnell’s refusal to even consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is an appalling gesture of contempt for the Court, the Constitution, and the American people,” said Miles Rapoport, President of Common Cause. “We are pleased that some of his Republican colleagues, including Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), have rejected Sen. McConnell’s obstruction and joined in calling for a hearing and an up-or-down vote. More than 80,000 people have used SenateDoYourJob.org to call on their senators to do the same. The website includes the ‘Garland-Kennedy Countdown Clock’ to measure the Senate’s performance against the standard it set in providing an election-year vote to Justice Kennedy 84 days after President Reagan announced his nomination. The President has done his job and Americans expect senators to do theirs. In any other workplace, employees who so cavalierly shunned their duties would be fired.”
“There’s too much on the line for Sierra Club members and supporters to sit back and watch Senate Republicans exhibit unprecedented levels of obstruction,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. “We can’t and we won’t let obstructionists threaten everything we’ve fought for decades to secure. The Sierra Club and our allies will do what we do best: mobilize, telling Senate Republicans to do their job and fill this vacancy.”
“Republican Senators are going against their constituents’ wishes by refusing to hold a hearing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy,” said Reed Adamson, Senior Advisor to End Citizens United. “As long as Republicans are standing in the way, the Supreme Court will be deadlocked on important decisions, including any reforms to our campaign finance system.”
“This year, monumental cases will be decided by the Court on abortion access specifically and reproductive rights generally,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold a single hearing on any Supreme Court nominee, no matter how qualified, denies all of us our right to know where this nominee stands on core constitutional questions of women’s privacy, dignity, and equality. With seven in ten Americans supporting legal access to abortion, we have a right to know where our justices stand on this important issue. It’s time for Republicans to stop putting their party’s interests ahead of our nation’s.”
“Republican Senators’ refusal to give fair consideration to the eminently qualified Judge Merrick Garland represents a true crisis of Constitutional proportions,” said People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker. “The American people are in strong agreement: It’s time for Republican Senators to do their job and give a fair hearing and timely vote to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.”
“The American people deserve a full court, with a ninth justice, appointed by a president they elected for a full four years — not three,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “It’s time the Senate uphold the Constitution and do their job. Judge Garland deserves a fair hearing like nominees before him, giving Americans an opportunity to learn more about his public record on a wide range of issues. Mitch McConnell’s obstructionism is depriving our democracy of a working third branch of government.”
Organizations supporting the national day of action are: 350.org, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alliance for Justice, Americans for Democratic Action, Americans United For Change, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – AFL-CIO (APALA), Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Color of Change, Common Cause, Constitutional Accountability Center, Courage Campaign, CREDO Action, Demand Progress, Democracy For America, Democratic Action Iowa/Americans for Democratic Action, Earthjustice, End Citizens United, Human Right Campaign, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Laotian American National Alliance, League of Conservation Voters, MomsRising, MoveOn.org, NAACP, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Abortion Federation, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, National Council of Jewish Women, National Women’s Law Center, National Education Association, NOW (National Organization for Women), Organizing For America, People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Congress, Progressive Democrats of America, SEIU, Sierra Club, The Voter Participation Center/ Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, UAW, UFCW, UltraViolet, and United Farm Workers
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