1.3 Million Petition Signatures Delivered to Senators Calling For Supreme Court Nominee To Get Fair Consideration

Sen. Schumer: “They swear they’re gonna hold their ground, but over time, they fold.” Sen. Murphy: “Senate Republicans are giving a middle finger to the American people.” Groups: This is just the beginning of organizing the public.

Leaders From CREDO Action, Color of Change, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Every Voice, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, PFAW, Common Cause, PCCC, Ultra Violet Action, and NextGen Climate Tell Senate Republicans:

Do Your Job. Follow The Constitution. Or Prepare For Public Outrage.

Sen. Chuck Schumer as well as Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy accept over 1.3 million petition signatures from progressive groups includingCREDO, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Daily Kos, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Demand Progress, UltraViolet Action, People For the American Way, Color of Change, Common Cause, NextGen Climate, and Every Voice, calling on Senate Republicans to stop SCOTUS obstruction.

Today, Senate Democrats and leading progressive groups vowed to increase public pressure on Senate Republicans until they stopped their Supreme Court obstruction and allowed a nominee to be fairly considered.

Standing with progressive organization leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said: “They swear they’re gonna hold their ground, but over time, they fold. Republican leadership said they would never fund the Affordable Care Act — they did. Republican leadership said they were never going to break the budget gaps and relieve sequestration — they did. They said they’d never reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank — they did. They said they’d never pass a DHS bill which funded the president’s executive action on immigration. They said they’d never confirm Loretta Lynch — they did. And so, over and over again we’ve seen this movie.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) added: “Senate Republicans are giving a middle finger to the American people and giving a middle finger to this President. The American people elected Barack Obama for four years, and they knew what they were doing. They didn’t elect a president for three years, just like they didn’t elect senators for five years.”

Speakers today included: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and PCCC Co-Founder Adam Green, Color of Change Campaign Manager Enchanta Jackson, MoveOn.org Civic Action Washington Director Ben Wikler, Every Voice Federal Legislative Director Will Roberts, Daily Kos Campaigns Associate Carissa Miller, Demand Progress Campaign Director Kurt Walters, People For the American Way Communications Director Drew Courtney, Common Cause Senior Policy Counsel Stephen Spaulding. Other who collected the 1.3 million petition signatures include CREDO Action, UltraViolet Action, NextGen Climate, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Groups will urge Senate Republicans to agree with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who penned an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times saying, “my duty as a senator [is] to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also said, “I believe we should follow the regular order and give careful consideration to any nominee that the president may send to the Senate…Should the President send the Senate a nominee, I will give that individual my full attention.”

Other statements from the event:

Sen. Al Franken urges Senate Republicans to reject the impulse to put party politics before their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution.

“Less than an hour after news of Justice Scalia’s death became public, Senator Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would not take up the business of considering a replacement until after the presidential election. He said, and I quote, ‘the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.’ The only problem is that the American people have spoken. Twice. President Barack Obama was elected and reelected by a resounding majority of the American people, and as President, has the constitutional responsibility to appoint justices to the Supreme Court. I urge my Republican colleagues to reject the impulse to put politics before our sworn duty to uphold the Constitution.” — Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

“Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job is a shameful abdication of constitutional responsibility. There is a long-standing bipartisan tradition of giving full and fair consideration to Supreme Court nominees – a tradition Republicans dishonor with their absolute obstruction. The rejection of President Obama’s ability to execute one of his constitutional duties – for nearly a quarter of his term – is unprecedented and unacceptable. “First Republicans refused to consider the President’s budget, and now they will not even hold a hearing on a nominee to the highest court in the land. In their attempt to diminish the office of the President and marginalize President Obama, they instead diminish themselves.” — Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Color of Change Campaigns Manager Enchanta Jackson presents over 1.3 million petition signatures from Americans calling on Senate Republicans to do their constitutional duty.

“With more than 100 cases on the docket, and many of them carrying huge consequences for civil rights — such as workers’ right to organize, women’s’ right to have agency over our own bodies, and the human right of undocumented people — Senate republicans have a job to do. With these petitions, we are representing the American people who want to speak directly to them to say, ‘Do what we elected you to do.'” — Enchanta Jackson, Color of Change Campaign Manager

“MoveOn members have three simple words to all who are standing with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell: “Do your job.” Republicans are attempting to rewrite history. In a blatantly partisan play, they are obstructing a constitutional mandate — and Americans will hold them accountable if they continue with what amounts to brazen and reckless hypocrisy.” — Ben Wikler, MoveOn.org Civic Action Washington Director

“By pledging to block any Supreme Court nominee, Senate Republicans are feeding the belief that Americans of all political stripes overwhelmingly share: Our government isn’t working for them.  Refusal to fill this vacancy is dereliction of duty — putting politics above the rule of law — and the American people deserve better.” — Will Roberts, Every Voice Federal Legislative Director

“President Obama was elected to a four year term, not three years, one month term. The Constitution is clear that the President shall appoint justices to the Supreme Court. Refusing to vote on the nominee the President puts forward would be to ignore the constitution and to ignore the millions of people who voted for President Obama in 2012. More than a million have spoken out already demanding a vote on a nominee this year, before the election. We will continue to make our communities’ voice heard at the Daily Kos. The question is — are Senate Republicans listening?” — Carissa Miller, Daily Kos Campaigns Associate

Daily Kos Campaigns Associate Carissa Miller joined Senate Democrats and progressive group leaders, calling on Senate Republicans to follow the constitution and allow a vote on any SCOTUS nomination.

“This radical obstructionism by Senate Republicans is an assault on the norms supporting America’s system of government. Mitch McConnell seems more willing to ignore the Constitution than to admit Americans don’t share his extreme ideology. The rest of the Republican caucus now faces a critical choice: Demonstrate they are capable of governing, or follow McConnell’s plan and abandon their constitutional responsibilities.” — Kurt Walters, Demand Progress Campaign Director

“Republicans who refuse to give fair consideration to President Obama’s nominee are making clear that they put politics and partisanship above the Constitution. This is as clear a signal as any that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump and Cruz. They’re choosing to create a constitutional crisis rather than compromise on their extremism.” — Drew Courtney, PFAW Communications Director

“Let’s be clear — keeping this empty seat on the highest court in the land for nearly two full terms is unprecedented, extraordinarily reckless, and shows a blatant disrespect for the rule of law, for the third branch of government, and the American people. We all heard yesterday about the letter from eleven Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to Senator McConnell, pledging to ignore their constitutional obligations. Today, we stand proudly with our partners and more than one million Americans who have signed these petitions to send their own message to Senator McConnell: do your job, and put country before party.” — Stephen Spaulding, Common Cause Senior Policy Counsel

“This is another government shutdown moment — with Senate Republicans obstructing our democracy in such a high profile and destructive way that it offends the public on a visceral level. Yesterday’s announcement by Senate Judiciary Republicans represented a doubling down on extremism, obstruction, and attacking the Constitution. Senate Republicans may have thought yesterday’s announcement was a signal that this fight is over. If so, they are flat out wrong. This is just the beginning and yesterday’s threat just served to stoke public anger and will lead to even greater accountability back home — starting with the over 1 million people who have signed these petitions.” — Adam Green, Progressive Change Campaign Committee Co-Founder

Statements from other partners:

“The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is critical to a functioning democracy, and a fully functioning Supreme Court is vital to ensure justice. We can’t afford to play political games. This is part of a bigger problem. The American people deserve a government that works — and they’re frustrated and angry about dysfunction in Congress, special deals for insiders, and campaigns that are being sold to the highest bidder. The voters solidly reelected President Obama to a four year term — not a three-year term — and the Senate should do its job and consider the president’s nominee, whomever that is.” — Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)

“Republicans are trying to subvert the Constitution so they’ll have a chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice who opposes women’s health care, sides with corporations over workers, will allow big money to continue to hijack our elections, and more. Obstructing President’s nominee is a radical, anti-democratic power grab – and the American people aren’t buying it.” — Murshed Zaheed, CREDO Action Acting Political Director

“The American people are getting tired of the same-old Republican politics that puts partisanship and obstruction ahead of the Constitution and what’s good for the country.  The Senate must fulfill their constitutional duties and vote on whoever President Obama nominates for the Court.  Failing to do so would endanger our democracy, and send a clear message to the American people – that Senate Republicans, under the leadership of Mitch McConnell are both unfit, and unwilling to serve.” — Karin Roland, UltraViolet Action Chief Campaigns Officer

“The stakes couldn’t be higher. The next Supreme Court justice could be the deciding vote on critical climate issues like the Clean Power Plan—and Senate Republicans can’t be allowed to undermine our country’s progress in addressing climate change. NextGen Climate is fully committed to holding politicians accountable who attempt to strip President Obama of his constitutional responsibility to appoint a new justice.” — Tom Steyer, NextGen Climate President

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