Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

At a news conference on Thursday, Ohio scholars from both political parties unloaded on obstructionist Republicans, urging GOP Sen. Rob Portman to join them in calling for fair confirmation hearings. (Photo: @ProgressOhio/Twitter)

Hey, Congress! #DoYourJob on High Court Pick, Say Groups Across Country

A poll on Thursday shows that a majority of respondents want to see President Obama nominate someone to fill Supreme Court vacancy

Deirdre Fulton

In line with public opinion, newspaper editorial boards, and some Democratic lawmakers, progressive advocacy organizations on Thursday held a national day of action calling on the U.S. Senate to "do its job" and consider President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

In Washington, D.C. and key states across the country, constituents are delivering petitions that aim to hold U.S. senators accountable to both the Constitution and the American people. The campaign has also taken off on Twitter under the hashtag #DoYourJob.

A CNN/ORC poll published Thursday shows that a majority of respondents want to see Obama nominate someone to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, rather than leave the seat vacant until a new president takes office next year. What's more, about two-thirds say that whomever Obama nominates should get a hearing in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and the Senate Judiciary Committee have declared they will not hold hearings on any nominee put forward by Obama, nor would the full body vote on Obama's choice.

"It doesn't take much to understand how outrageous their conduct is," Natural Resources Defense Council climate and clean air campaign director Pete Altman wrote on Thursday. "This is the first Senate majority in American history to refuse to consider any nominee from the president, no matter how qualified that nominee may be."

According to Altman, "[t]he Republican strategy is, in part, a bid to push policies that will lead to more pollution, more bad air, more bad water, and more profits for major polluters. When their 'mask' slips, that is what you see behind all of this."

Indeed, a report released Thursday by People for the American Way reveals how right-wing groups, representing corporate and religious interests, are "promoting obstruction as a means to the end of a far-right court."

The report states: "As Republican senators vow to block the confirmation of whomever President Obama nominates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy—or even to meet with a nominee—they are echoing the messaging of these outside groups. And, even as polls show that a majority of Americans want President Obama to fulfill his constitutional obligation and nominate the next Supreme Court justice, Republican senators face pressure campaigns from these groups if they back down the slightest bit from a scorched-earth response to the vacancy."

Thursday's day of action comes on the heels of a scathing letter to the Judiciary Committee from more than 80 organizations, which said the GOP's "unprecedented and destructive" decision was "a dereliction of constitutional duty."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

DOJ Sues to Prevent Arizona's 'Onerous' Proof of Citizenship Voting Law

Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke said the law "constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Progressives Urge Reforms to 'Hold These Rogue Justices to Account'

Recent rulings by the Supreme Court's right-wing majority have made clear the need for substantive changes, including expansion, argues Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Win for Wildlife' as Federal Court Restores Endangered Species Protections Gutted by Trump

"In the midst of a global extinction crisis, the court's decision to vacate the rules will help ensure that imperiled species receive the protections they desperately need," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


Senate Urged to Block Biden's Pro-Privatization Nominee for Social Security Board

"The Senate can, and must, block this terrible nomination," Social Security Works said of the administration's choice of Andrew Biggs.

Jake Johnson ·


GOP Senator Defends Guantánamo Bay Prison as 'Absolutely Vital Institution'

Sen. James Inhofe's comments come as congressional Democrats are reviving efforts to close the notorious U.S. military prison.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo