It hasn’t been even a month since the Republicans shut down the government, and they’re already trying to paralyze the government again.
There are vacancies on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and Republicans now hold the dubious distinction of filibustering all three women that President Obama nominated to fill those vacancies.
They all have extraordinary legal resumes and have received bipartisan support from top litigators around the country. They are among the top legal minds of a generation.
So why have these women been filibustered? To keep this President from doing his job.
With your help, we made enough noise to finally give Rich Cordray an up-or-down vote to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We need the same sort of pressure for our judicial nominees.
Every day in Congress, we deal with the influence of powerful groups and their armies of lobbyists. But in our democracy, when we write laws, we can push back on their power. That’s how we got a strong consumer agency to level the playing field for working families after the financial crisis.
But the story doesn’t end when Congress passes a law. Powerful interests don’t just give up – they shift their fight to the courts. They know if they can weaken or overturn a law in court – and rig the system with sympathetic judges in lifetime positions – they turn defeat into victory.
In the next few years, the DC Circuit will decide some of the most important cases of our time – including cases that will decide whether Wall Street Reform will have real bite or whether it will just be toothless.
Swaps dealers, the securities industry, the Business Roundtable, and the Chamber of Commerce are all lining up to challenge the new rules that agencies have written to try to put some teeth in Wall Street Reform and other laws. These big industry players want business-friendly judges to help them out.
Republicans may not like Wall Street Reform. They may not like Obamacare. But Congress passed those laws, and President Obama signed those laws. It is not up to judges to overturn those laws or their associated regulations just because they don’t fit the judges’ policy preferences.
We need to call out these filibusters for what they are: naked attempts to nullify the results of the last Presidential election – to force us to govern as though President Obama hadn’t won the 2012 election.
Tell the Senate to give President Obama’s court nominees an up-or-down vote.
We are caught in a fight over the future of our courts – a fight over whether the courts will be a neutral forum that decides every dispute fairly, or whether the courts will be stacked in favor of the wealthy and the powerful.
I’m in this fight, and I hope you are too.