Senator Leahy: We need judges who will protect our civil rights

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We need judges committed to civil rights and ensuring equal justice for all, but more than 10% of federal judgeships are sitting vacant — and qualified Black nominees are being blocked — because good ol' boy GOP senators are abusing a Senate tradition known as "blue slips." Tell Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy it's time to drop blue slips and end the judicial nominations crisis now.

Here’s the letter we’ll send Sen. Patrick Leahy on your behalf. You can add a personal comment using the box provided.

Dear Sen. Leahy,

I urge you to suspend the Judiciary Committee's increasingly-abused “blue slips” tradition, which in practice gives hostage-taking right-wing senators more power to make judicial appointments than the White House itself.

Permitting an individual senator to effectively veto President Obama's judicial picks without cause results in the situation we see today in Georgia, where Sens. Chambliss and Isakson have been empowered to demand three of their candidates be seated on the federal bench in exchange for one of the president's.

Concentrating this unconstitutional power in the hands of obstructionist Republican senators ensures that unacceptable inequities in racial and gender representation on the federal bench — particularly in Southern states — will persist for decades to come, and privileges nominees like Michael Boggs and Mark Cohen with a track record of assailing rather than defending our civil rights.

You have the power to end the vacancy crisis in the federal courts and ensure qualified nominees get a fair shot at the full Senate vote they're entitled to: end the Committee's reliance on blue slips now.


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