Why Courts Matter

Floridians Deliver “Do Your Job” Message to Sen. Marco Rubio

TAMPA – On August 31 FCAN delivered a message to Sen. Marco Rubio from Floridians. FCAN captured and tweeted daily #DoYourJob messages from Floridians to Senator Rubio throughout August. A collage of these 31 days of action was delivered to Rubio Wednesday.

Download the collage

Download the FCAN letter to Rubio

Download media advisory (pdf)

Floridians assume that they will get their day in court if necessary, but they may not realize that justice may be significantly delayed because our Federal Courts don’t have enough judges.

Tell Rubio to do his job

Help us send a message to Sen. Rubio to stop blocking federal court nominations. Send us a pic telling him to "Do your job".

Obstruction


Most people know that the Supreme Court Justice Scalia died earlier this year, but many don’t realize that President Obama has nominated a moderate replacement, Merritt Garland. The Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have refused to even hold a hearing on the nomination, meaning the court now has only eight justices.


GOP leadership announced that they intend to block all nominees regardless of their qualifications until after the election because they’re hoping their party wins. That means problems for ordinary people that need the courts.

How Federal Judges Get On The Bench

The President nominates judges who are then considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee first sends a “blue slip” – correspondence printed on light blue paper – to each senator from the state where the vacancy would be filled if the nominee were confirmed. By “returning” a blue slip, Senators indicate their approval of the nominee. In recent years, blue slip approval from a home state senator has been a de facto requirement to move forward with a candidate. If just one senator does not return his or her blue slip, all committee action on a judicial nominee comes to a halt: no hearings, no votes.

Judiciary

The Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee has the power to schedule the hearings that they want. They can confirm needed judicial nominees or slow the process to a halt. The first time a committee vote is scheduled on a nominee, any member of the committee can delay the vote until the committee’s next meeting (usually a one week), without reason. Since President Obama has taken office, this has become routine. And there are even more arcane delay tactics.

Senator Marco Rubio’s Role

Sen. Marco Rubio not only opposes hearings on a new U.S. Supreme Court Judge, he has also declared that he will block a hearing on the nomination of Mary Barzee Flores to the Florida Southern District Court. This is the second time Rubio has blocked a judicial nominee that he originally supported.

Despite the urgent need to fill judicial vacancies among Florida’s federal courts, Sen. Marco Rubio is blocking nominations for no reason other than politics. Meanwhile, as long as these judgeships remain vacant the understaffed judiciary builds a backlog of cases, delaying justice for Floridians.

Senator Rubio’s obstruction has helped slow confirmations to a snail's pace -- the Senate is on track to confirm the fewest number of judges since 1953, according to our research.

The Florida federal courts currently have three declared judicial emergencies. The Flores nomination has been blocked by Senator Rubio for months.Delaying justice for Floridians is denying justice for Floridians and is indefensible. Tell Rubio to do his job. FCAN is collecting pictures of Floridians holding signs that tell Rubio to do his job. Just go to this page and upload a pic.

Do Your Job
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