Sign the Petition: Tell the Senate: Do Your Job!

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History, civics and social studies teachers instruct students every day about the U.S. Constitution and the roles of the President and Congress. With Senate Republicans refusing to take action on a Supreme Court nomination, it seems they could use a refresher lesson.

It’s pretty simple: the President named Judge Merrick Garland as the Supreme Court nominee and now it’s the job of the Senate to hold a hearing and an up-or-down vote on his confirmation.

Sign this petition to join civics teachers across the country in telling Senators to do their job instead of playing political games.

Tell Senator Ron Johnson: Do Your Job and fill the Supreme Court vacancy!

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.

By Brian Washington
EdVotes.org

TakeActionSidebarCongress is returning to Capitol Hill this week — a perfect time to tell members of the U.S. Senate, “Do your job.”

Instead of playing political games and delaying action on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, Republicans, who control the Senate, should break with extreme voices like GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and consider the nomination as well as give it an “up-or-down” vote.

It’s important to note that a few Senate Republicans have already expressed a willingness to meet with Garland. In fact, Senator Susan Collins (ME) shared that the president’s nominee deserves “careful consideration.”

“It’s the duty of the Senate, under the Constitution, to give our advice and give our consent or withhold our consent,” Collins recently said on CNN. “I believe we should follow the regular order and give careful consideration to any nominee that the president may send to the Senate.”

Supreme Court nominees deserve a fair hearing, and both Democrats and Republicans have always provided that courtesy. Now is the time to let your voice be heard. Tell your lawmakers that it’s time to do the will of the people. Polls show that 56 percent of all Americans disagree with GOP Senators who say they will not hold hearings on the proposed replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

TAKE ACTION: Send an email message to your Senators and ask him/her to do their job and fill the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you want to send them a message via Twitter, below you’ll find sample tweets you can use. Just make sure you add the hashtags: #DoYourJob and/or #WeNeedNine.

  • Senate must fulfill its constitutional responsibility and consider Garland. Doing otherwise is unprecedented and irresponsible.
  • Not holding a fair hearing on Garland would create a constitutional crisis and handcuff all 3 branches of government.
  • There is plenty of time for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give Judge Garland a fair hearing and a timely vote.
  • Senators: It would be irresponsible and unprecedented to let a vacancy on the Supreme Court extend into 2017.
  • Besides #SCOTUS, more than 40 judicial nominees are now waiting for a Senate vote so they can do critical work.

You can also help us elevate this important message via social media. But most importantly, make sure you contact your U.S. Senators and urge your friends and family to do so as well. Tell them that U.S. Supreme Court nominees deserve a fair hearing and an up-and-down vote.

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U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms collective bargaining in landmark case

From the National Education Association

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday delivered its decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, affirming that public employers have a compelling interest in having strong and effective collective bargaining. The 4-4 decision leaves intact the sound law of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that has been working for nearly four decades.

At issue in Friedrichs was whether non-union members could share the wages, benefits and protections negotiated in a collectively bargained contract without needing to pay their fair share for the cost of those negotiations. The case was brought by the Center for Individual Rights, an organization funded by corporate special interests that are pushing their own agenda. The National Education Association, the nation’s largest union with more than 3 million members, and the California Teachers Association, are two of the union respondents in the case in addition to the state of California.

“The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a political ploy to silence public employees like teachers, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, higher education faculty and other educators to work together to shape their profession,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “In Friedrichs, the court saw through the political attacks on the workplace rights of teachers, educators and other public employees. This decision recognizes that stripping public employees of their voices in the workplace is not what our country needs.”

The case was thinly veiled attempt to weaken collective bargaining and silence educators’ voices. In response, hundreds of amici curiae or “friends of the court” briefs weighed in to support the union respondents. Twenty-one states, dozens of cities, nearly 50 Republican lawmakers, school districts and public hospitals rose in support of the value fair share fees provide in terms of the effective management of public services. During oral arguments, lawyers for the respondents argued that current fair share system is a good compromise and common sense solution. The court’s decision leaves that system in place nationwide.

“I’m thrilled millions of educators like me can continue to work together through their unions to advocate for the best teaching and learning conditions of their students,” said HaSheen Wilson, a network administrator at Youngstown State University in Ohio. “In an era when the rich just get richer while the poor seem to fall through the cracks, we need to come together and speak out for change — whether it’s smaller class sizes, training for educators, fair pay and benefits, health care or safer work environments.”

The Friedrichs case provided a vivid illustration of what’s at stake when it comes to the highest court in the land. It also was an example of how corporations are using the Supreme Court for political agendas rather than what the court was intended: interpreting and upholding the Constitution.

“Collective bargaining rights allow educators, like me, to speak up for their students on important issues such as class sizes and high-stakes standardized tests,” said CTA President Eric C. Heins. “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court reaffirms that it is in the best interest of our students and our communities for educators to have a strong voice on the job.”

For classroom teachers like Reagan Duncan, today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for working people.

“Through negotiations between my union and the school district, we were able to secure smaller class sizes for our students,” said Duncan, who teaches kindergarten and first grade at Maryland Elementary School in Vista, Calif. “Smaller class sizes help teachers focus on each student’s individualized needs and allow for more one-on-one attention. Parents often thank us for being their advocates in securing classes that allow their children to learn freely and to love what they are learning.”