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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Issue

The 2016-17 Supreme Court vacancy

PRESS RELEASE: MERRICK GARLAND: MORE THAN 300 EDITORIAL BOARDS FROM EVERY STATE & DC URGE SENATE HEARING (638 EDITORIALS) (10/13/16)

MERRICK GARLAND: 638 EDITORIALS BY OVER 300 EDITORIAL BOARDS IN EVERY STATE & DC URGE SENATE TO HOLD A HEARING AND VOTE ON NOMINEE TO FILL SUPREME COURT VACANCY – STATE BY STATE LINKS/EXCERPTS (as of October 13, 2016) 
These 638 Editorials by 301 newspaper editorial boards in all 50 states and DC represent well over 95 percent of the newspaper editorial board opinions revealed by comprehensive online research. Click State names on first page for Editorial Board links/excerpts for each State.

16 Environmental Organizations (including Defenders of Wildlife) Call on Senate to Hold Up or Down Vote on Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland (07/15/16)
Backed by 16 environmental organizations, this letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid calls on the United States Senate to commit to doing its job by holding an up or down vote on the President's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. For the protection of our air, water, wildlife and lands, a strong and intact judicial system is as important as ever.

MERRICK GARLAND: OVER 60 NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL BOARDS THAT ENDORSED REPUBLICAN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008, 2012, OR BOTH, URGE SENATE HEARING AND VOTE ON OBAMA NOMINEE TO FILL SUPREME COURT VACANCY – STATE BY STATE LINKS/EXCERPTS (as of June 14, 2016) (06/14/16)

UPDATED: FILLING SUPREME COURT VACANCY: LINKS/ EXCERPTS for

17 National Environmental Groups (including Defenders of Wildlife) CEOs' Letter to Sens. McConnell & Reid on Filling the Supreme Court Vacancy (03/08/16)
"President Obama has announced that he will nominate a replacement for the vacancy on the Supreme Court bench left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, and we believe the President has a clearly prescribed constitutional responsibility to do so. On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, we call on the United States Senate to commit to doing its job by conducting fair confirmation hearings and holding a timely vote on that nominee.... There is ample precedent for a nominee to be confirmed in election years, even when the Senate and White House are controlled by opposite political parties. Willful obstructionism is simply a dereliction of duty, .... For the protection of our air, water, wildlife and lands, a strong and intact judiciary system is as important as ever."

Defenders of Wildlife and others signed letter from 82 Organizations Condemning GOP Judiciary Committee Members’ Unprecedented Obstruction on SCOTUS Vacancy and Urging Them to Uphold the Constitution (02/26/16)

The Supreme Court interprets what federal laws and regulations mean, and is the ultimate judge of whether the Constitution authorizes or prohibits a range of local, state, and federal government activities.

What's At Stake

 US Supreme Court decisions are potentially definitive on many critically important issues, including the following:

  • Whether people, individually and through citizen and environmental groups, will be allowed to go to court to enforce environmental and natural resource laws
  • Whether Congress has the constitutional authority to protect endangered species that live in only one state, to limit destruction of "isolated" wetlands, and to order companies to clean-up hazardous waste sites
  • Whether federal agencies have the statutory authority to protect people, property, and the environment under the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other landmark statutes
  • Whether to order that taxpayers must pay companies not to pollute or unfairly profit at the expense of neighboring people, private property, and the environment
  • Whether to enforce water pollution, wetlands, and other laws through meaningful fines and orders that deter future violations or to ignore sentencing guidelines in favor of a slap on the wrist that allows rogue companies to profit from violations of environmental laws

Environmental Protections Require Fair Independent Replacement for Stevens (American Constitution Society Blog, 04/13/10)
Guest Blog by Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli

Look Beyond Constitutional Interpretation When Picking Judges (American Constitution Society Blog, 12/22/08)
Commentary by Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli: "The records of potential and pending judicial nominees on constitutional interpretation are a vital consideration, but far from the only one. Lifetime judges must also be competent, fair and independent, and must fairly interpret and apply the statutes, treaties, and judge-made 'common law' that are at issue in the vast majority of cases."

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