NCWBA Urges Up or Down Vote on Judge Garland

The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations has added its voice to those asking that the US Senate Judiciary Committee move ahead expeditiously to act on the nomination of Judge Garland to the Supreme Court. The letter can be read at the link below:

NCWBA – letter to Senate Judiciary Comm. re Judge Garland

With the nomination by President Obama of Judge Merrick Garland on March 16 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, it is now left to the Senate Judiciary Committee to convene  hearings on his qualifications and give him an up-or-down vote. It was made clear, even before the nomination of Judge Garland, by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others that no action on the nomination is planned. The partisan nature of the inaction has caused many state and local bar associations to shy away from public discussion of the matter. Yet lawyers are uniquely qualified to understand and explain the importance of separation of powers, constitutional duties and the barrier to the fair administration of justice posed by judicial vacancies. In this instance, silence can be viewed by the Senate and the public as consent by the legal community to the Senate’s inaction. As a women’s bar leader, what can or should you do?

As individuals, you can write to your own Senators, urging them to support an up-or-down vote on the nomination. Here is an e-mail form created by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). Or you may wish to pattern your letter after the template provided hereby the NWLC.
If you want to consider taking action as a bar group, here is background information about federal judicial vacancies from the American Bar Association. Here’s a fact sheet from the NWLC on why women’s rights are affected by the Supreme Court vacancy. For a detailed explanation by the Congressional Research Service of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s role in the Supreme Court appointment process, click here.
Here’s a sample op-ed piece provided by the NWLC you might tailor to fit a local newspaper.
Here are some examples of letters and press releases from bar organizations:
Queen’s Bench Bar Association was a signatory on a letter from numerous California local and specialty bar associations.
 
To echo the words of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, “We need somebody now to do the job. Let’s get on with it.”

 

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