| Diane -- |
When the vacancy on the Supreme Court opened earlier this year, the court was left with only eight justices -- which means their rulings on some disputed cases can be handed down as a tie.
Most legal cases can be resolved without calling on the Supreme Court, so every case the justices hear has the potential to set an important precedent. The final ruling not only settles the issue for the parties to the case, but can guide lawyers and judges facing related disputes for years to come. Tied rulings set no precedent and offer no new guidance for future cases. This type of obstruction leaves our country's most important judicial body disabled for the rest of the year.
Last week, that happened for the first time -- and this week, the Supreme Court deadlocked on a case that threatened to cripple public unions.
From the day the vacancy opened, many Republican senators, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have promised to stand in the way of any nominee that President Obama offered, no matter his or her qualifications. President Obama has done his job by nominating the highly qualified (and broadly respected) Judge Merrick Garland -- but they still refuse to do theirs.
This is unprecedented: In recent history, the Senate has never refused to schedule hearings on a Supreme Court nominee.
Add your name to stand up for a fair nomination process, and tell Senate leaders to stop the obstruction.
Editorial boards across the country have praised Judge Garland as an exceptional consensus choice, and 76 senators -- including six sitting senators who now refuse to give him a hearing -- voted to confirm him for the federal court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1997.
If senators take issue with Judge Garland's qualifications, they can defend their opposition at hearings and act on it when the Senate votes on his confirmation. But they need to have a hearing and an up-or-down vote.
An overwhelming majority of Americans want a fair process. Add your name to say that you've had enough of the partisan political games with our Supreme Court:
Director of Policy and Campaigns
Organizing for Action
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