by Olivia Sandbothe | March 24, 2016
Last week, President Obama announced his pick for a Supreme Court Justice to fill the seat left by Antonin Scalia’s passing. He nominated Chief Justice Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit Court, a well-respected judge with a history of good decisions in cases involving labor law.
But Garland’s path to the Supreme Court won’t be easy. It’s not because he’s controversial or underqualified — far from it. Instead, it’s because some members of Congress are determined to evade their constitutional duty to review judicial nominations.
Senate leaders like Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch were elected to carry out the processes of government. Instead, they’ve vowed to leave America’s highest court with an empty seat.
Last Thursday, elected officials and ordinary citizens alike gathered on the steps of the courthouse to send a simple message to these stubborn senators: Do your job!
America’s working people get the job done every day, whether we feel like it or not. We spend long hours on our feet or at the office. We go out in all weather and work with all kinds of people. We expect our elected officials to demonstrate the same sense of commitment and reliability.
That’s what Brent Hershberger, a heavy equipment operator from Lapeer, Michigan, told the press on Thursday. Winter storms and water main breaks don’t happen at convenient times, but he’s always ready to respond when the community needs his services. “If I just decided not to come in to work, I wouldn’t have a job for very long,” he said. “I want these Republicans to do their jobs and get the work done.”
He was joined by fellow Michigander Lori Batzloff, a registered nurse. “I work 12-hour night shifts, so you can imagine that when morning rolls around, I’m ready to go home,” she said. “But if a patient comes in at the last minute, I’m not going to say ‘gee, I don’t really feel like putting in that IV right now because it’s almost time for me to go.’”
The majority of Americans feel the same way. Polls show that Republicans and Democrats alike believe that the Senate is playing politics with one of our most important institutions, and most people want to see a timely hearing for the judicial nominee.
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