2016/03/21 - CITIES FOR ACTION URGES U.S. SENATE TO FULFILL DUTY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND VOTE ON U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

For Immediate Release: March 21, 2016
Contact: press@citiesforaction.us

CITIES FOR ACTION URGES U.S. SENATE TO FULFILL DUTY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND VOTE ON U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

 

As Part Of Cities For Action, Two Dozen Mayors Issue Letter To Senate Leaders Urging Action On U.S. Supreme Court Nomination To Move Forward Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON – As part of Cities for Action, a coalition of over 100 cities, counties and municipalities, two dozen Mayors issued a letter today to U.S. Republican Senate leaders urging them to fulfill their duty to the American people by considering and voting on President Obama’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court.

“Our coalition of cities, counties and municipal governments represents over 55 million people from more than half the states in the nation.  Our interest is in ensuring that the work of the Court and welfare of our constituents are not adversely affected by an extended vacancy and delay in court decisions.”

“The immigrant population in our cities are a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of our communities, and in January 2016, when the Supreme Court decided to hear the case of United States v Texas, we had hope that the wheels of justice would finally be put in motion. Yet issues of national importance such as immigration reform have been put on hold by the Senate leaders injecting political gamesmanship into a legal system we rely on to protect our constituents.  Adding any delay in considering a new nominee will further deny a resolution for the future of immigrant families and issues important to our nation.”

“The constitutional obligations of the President and the Senate are clear and unambiguous, and should be above politics – the President appoints justices to the Supreme Court, and the Senate shall advise and consent on his nominee...The Senate has a responsibility to act, both under the oath they have sworn and to the people for whom they have pledged to work. Your willingness to meet this responsibility is not just a test of your commitment to fulfill the duties of your job, but your fidelity to the democratic values that are at the heart of our nation and our country’s history.”

Below is the full text of the letter from Cities for Action:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Chuck Grassley
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate                                                            
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
437 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

March 21, 2016

Dear Senators McConnell, Grassley, Reid, and Leahy:

Cities for Action is a coalition of over 100 mayors and municipalities who have joined together to lead a national movement for immigration policies and reforms that will empower stronger, safer and more economically prosperous cities and counties. We are writing to urge you to fulfill your duty to the American people by considering and voting on President Obama’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court.

The constitutional obligations of the President and the Senate are clear and unambiguous, and should be above politics – the President appoints justices to the Supreme Court, and the Senate shall advise and consent on his nominee.

Issues that impact our jurisdictions are regularly before the Supreme Court. We have a strong interest in ensuring that the work of the Court and the welfare of our constituents are not adversely affected by an extended vacancy. Especially now, when so much is at stake – from immigration reform, to other issues of national importance – your oath to support and defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of your office becomes even more important.

When in January 2016, the Supreme Court decided to hear the case of United States v Texas, we had hope that the wheels of justice would finally be shifted out of neutral for millions of immigrant families. News reports indicating that members of the Senate would not consider any nominee, further echoed by the letter signed by Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee, injects political gamesmanship into a legal system we rely on to protect our constituents.

Our coalition of cities, counties and municipal governments represents over 55 million people from more than half the states in the nation. Our immigrant populations are part of the economic and cultural fabric of our communities, yet the justice they seek has been put on hold. Adding any delay in considering a new nominee will further deny a resolution for the future of their families.

The Senate has a responsibility to act, both under the oath they have sworn and to the people for whom they have pledged to work. Your willingness to meet this responsibility is not just a test of your commitment to fulfill the duties of your job, but your fidelity to the democratic values that are at the heart of our nation and our country’s history.

Thus we respectfully request that you embrace the role of leadership that the people of this country have entrusted in you, and promptly consider the President’s nominee to the Court without obstruction or undue delay.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,

Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA
Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, TX
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, MD
William Bell, Mayor of Birmingham, AL
Edward Terry, Mayor of Clarkston, GA
Stephen Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC
Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, IA
Dianne Martinez, Mayor of Emeryville, CA
Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City, MO
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI
Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York, NY
Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA
Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
John Dickert, Mayor of Racine, WI
Thomas Butt, Mayor of Richmond, CA
Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, CA
Jackie Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT
Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, CA
Edward Murray, Mayor of Seattle, WA
Stephanie Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, NY
Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee, FL

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