Young People Rock The Halls Of Congress With Copies Of “Schoolhouse Rock!”
Today we at Generation Progress went to Capitol Hill. We visited the offices of the 11 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have refused to hold so much as a hearing on the Supreme Court vacancy, letting them know why young people think they need to do their job. Our goal was simple: to make sure our generation — which has the most to lose if this vacancy continues to be left unfilled — was heard. Here’s the letter we delivered, along with a copy of “Schoolhouse Rock!” as a gentle reminder on how the Constitution works. We encourage you to spread the message using the hashtag #DoYourJob.
Time and time again, you’ve spoken of your reverence for the Constitution, our nation’s collection of guiding principles and beliefs. Your reverence is not misplaced — after all, the Constitution is essentially your job description. It not only created your job, establishing representatives for people from every state and territory of the United States, but also outlined your rules and responsibilities through its various articles and amendments.
One of those articles states unequivocally that the President “shall have [the] power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” to appoint justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. There’s no exception for election years. Despite this, you have stated you will not grant so much as a hearing to any nominee. We believe this to be abdication of your constitutional obligation.
As young people, we want a democracy that works, not obstructionism. We’re frustrated by our representatives placing politics before people, and obstructionism before obligation. Your disregard of constitutional obligation is not only extreme, but irresponsible. We need a fully-functioning government, which necessitates a fully-staffed Supreme Court. A vacancy on the most powerful court in the land can have severe — and lasting — repercussions for us. An eight-member Supreme Court is harmful to American democracy and will affect our lives for years to come.
This is to say nothing of years past. In the past, we have never had to wait longer than 125 days for a Supreme Court nominee to be confirmed. In the past, 17 Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during an election year, including Justice Kennedy, nominated by President Reagan and confirmed unanimously by a Democrat-controlled Senate. In the past, we’ve never experienced the hyper-partisanship and obstructionism we’re seeing today.
We’re sick of it. We expect more from our government. We expect more from you. As young people, we’re calling on you to put aside partisan bickering and put our needs first. We’re calling on you to do your job: take action on the Supreme Court vacancy now. Our generation is waiting.
P.S.: Enclosed please find a complimentary copy of “Schoolhouse Rock!” We think it might be a useful refresher for you on the roles and responsibilities of three branches of government.