Will the next Supreme Court justice restore balance to the most pro-business court since the Gilded…
Sheldon Whitehouse

Obstructing Judicial Appointments at Every Level

Republican obstructionism regarding judicial appointments is occurring at every level and it is systematic.

When vacancies at circuit courts, appellate courts and the Supreme Court remain unfilled, Americans who are seeking legal resolutions are left waiting and the judiciary can’t do its job.

Reporter Patrick Caldwell from Mother Jones noted earlier this year that:

Since taking control of the Senate in early 2015, Republicans have confirmed only 17 federal judges…The Senate confirmed just 11 judges in 2015, the fewest since 1960. There have been only two appellate court judges approved since Republicans took control, with seven appeals court nominations left pending...
“It’s not for lack of nominees that the pace of confirmations has been so slow. There are 87 current vacancies and 61 judicial nominations before the Senate, including Garland’s...

When Congress actively prevents another co-equal branch of the government from being able to carry out its constittionally mandated duties by using procedural rules, they are demonstrating a profound disregard for the spirit of our Constitution.

At the same time, judges that erode our constitutional protections by expanding the rights of corporations are also not doing us any favors.

So, the moral of the story is we need to reorient the courts — all of them — so that we can strip corporations of their undue influence.

The only way to do that is to elect Hillary Clinton and to give her a progressive House and a progressive Senate and a citizenry that will hold her accountable for her campaign promises.

A Democrat as president is not enough. We saw that with Obama and the paralysis that followed the mid-term elections. Elect Hillary, but give Hillary the Senators and Representatives she needs to be effective.

Voters, and independent voters in particular, who are thinking of casting protest votes and third-party voites may wish to reconsider.

Votes for candidates who have no chance of winning are symbolic.

And in some cases, symbolic actions and conduct can be powerful and very moving.

This is not one of those cases.

The consequences of a Republican administration and Republican appointees to the bench will not be merely symbolical: the damage and harm will be concrete, wide-ranging and take several generations to rectify.

Oh, and Sheldon Whitehouse may not be your state Senator, but he sure is America’s Senator.

Listen to his speeches on climate change and the web of corporations, dark money, and pseudo-academic syndicates bankrolling climate denial efforts.

An effort that is facilitated in large part by decisions such as Citizen’s United.

The most horrifying thing about the expansion of corporate rights is what they have done with those rights:

They have systematically reduced the rights of American Citizens.

In other words, each victory they have gained has been used to minimize our ability to object to their vision for our states, our country and our planet.

Kudos to the Senator for continuing to remind us of all of the things that are at stake in this election.