Earlier this month, at the Concerned Women for America (CWA) Leadership Training Conference in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to lobby our senators on Capitol Hill concerning the issue of lower-court vacancies.
There are currently over 140 vacancies in the federal district and appellate courts. This is a unique opportunity to secure the judicial branch of government by ensuring the judges appointed to these seats are constitutionalists, not activists legislating from the bench. Thanks to our hardworking grassroots volunteers, Concerned Women for America was instrumental in the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch. CWA can multiply that impact across the federal lower courts. However, gridlock in the Senate is slowing the confirmation process of judicial and executive nominees.
Solution: Reasonable gridlock reform should be enacted to allow a simple majority vote to open debate on legislation, while keeping the filibuster rule of a 60-vote requirement to end debate.
We have a golden opportunity to secure the federal judicial system’s foundation of constitutional jurisprudence and to fight back against judicial activism. There are over 140 judicial vacancies, 59 of which are considered judicial emergencies.
One problem is that there is gridlock in the Senate, and it is holding up the confirmation process. A total of 206 judicial and executive branch nominees were confirmed during the first six months of Obama’s presidency. Meanwhile, President Trump has only secured 55 judicial and executive confirmations in his first six months. At this rate, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) says it would take 11 years to confirm President Trump’s nominees.
The solution to the gridlock is reform. We must maintain the integrity of the Founders’ intent for the Senate to be a slower-moving body, but update certain Senate rules and procedures to limit the gridlock. Currently, the process is to have a 60-vote threshold to begin debate and 60-vote threshold to end debate.
CWA wants to keep the filibuster: The 60-vote threshold to end debate is a key tenet of Senate procedure to protect the voice of the minority party. We want to end the 60-vote requirement to start debate. This would allow the majority party to open discussion on legislation while protecting the minority party with the filibuster still in place.
Sens. Roberts (R-KS) and Moran (R-KS) both claim to be institutionalists. This means they do not like to change what has been traditionally done. Obviously, their approach has not worked well, because the opposing party has taken full advantage of this.
Please Pray for Sens. Roberts and Moran. Pray that they will see beyond tradition and realize what is necessary to allow constitutionalists, not activists, into our lower courts.
Take Action: Please contact Sen. Roberts here and Sen. Moran here. First, let them know that as a member of Concerned Women for America, you are grateful that the CWA of Kansas State Director, Barbara Saldivar, and her team met with the senators’ staffers on September 8 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the lower-court vacancies. Please reiterate the message that we want gridlock in the Senate to end. Also ask for consideration in ending the 60-vote requirement to start debate and changing it to a simple majority vote.
Thank you for your faithful prayers, action, and support of Concerned Women for America of Kansas.
CWA of Kansas
P.O. Box 8331
Topeka, KS 66608