What can I do about the next Supreme Court selection?
April 7, 2017 10:52 AM   Subscribe

The fact that Gorsuch would get on the court was a forgone conclusion, but that makes it no less heinous in my view. What can I do specifically to help fight the current dominant political party's efforts to place another judge on the court?

I previously asked a closely related question but it did not yield very much actionable answers. I'm hoping that today's events will bring renewed attention on the topic and might result in more suggestions.

I'm not an activist by nature; I'm a workaholic academic and have extremely limited time. But I can't stand it anymore. Is Indivisible the right group to get involved with, or are there are more targeted efforts aimed at preventing another Gorsuch?
posted by StrawberryPie to Law & Government (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The most concrete thing you can do is work to get a D senator elected or re-elected in your state in 2018. Not sure what else to offer you beyond that. The President nominates and the Senate confirms. Nobody else has any say in the matter.
posted by dis_integration at 11:03 AM on April 7, 2017 [19 favorites]

Support your local candidates in the 2018 election.
posted by cabingirl at 11:04 AM on April 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think it comes down to changing who is in the Senate (and hoping all the justices can hang on for at least another two years).

Here are two ideas:
-- Keep track of the 2018 Senate elections and support Dems in races across the country (through donations, phone banking, social media, etc).
-- Join local voter registration drives. I'm sure google could help you find them.
posted by mcduff at 11:07 AM on April 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't know what to say other than "not much". There's a Republican president and a Republican Senate. If there's another opening before the next election, the only thing you can do is ask Republican Senators not to vote to confirm. And that probably won't go very well. The other option would be completely overthrowing our constitutional system of government. Both have a similar chance of success.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:07 AM on April 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lobby for more protections and bodyguards for existing justices.
posted by corb at 11:08 AM on April 7, 2017

Response by poster: I should have mentioned that I'm in one of the bluest of the blue states already.
posted by StrawberryPie at 11:11 AM on April 7, 2017

I have been working to gain on the ground campaigning skills in my state (also one of the bluest of the blue). I plan to take a leave of absence from my job in 2018 and volunteer a good chunk of time in another state to help flip the Senate back to blue. I'm currently planning a 3 month leave, but it might only be 2.
posted by OrangeDisk at 11:18 AM on April 7, 2017 [11 favorites]

The best answer will not satisfy you, because it will not involve you doing anything that helps you feel like you're making a difference:

Write a check to the DSCC, and/or to a liberal PAC you like that works Senate elections.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:27 AM on April 7, 2017 [9 favorites]

My friend lived through Regan and the Bushes and she said what you need to do is vote and make sure others vote. Get in touch with your local Dem office come election time, mid terms too. Offer to drive other Dems to the polls - the elderly, disabled who don't drive, those without cars, etc. Getting butts to the polls makes a difference.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:52 AM on April 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

The Democrats are defending 25 Senate Seats next year, 10 of which are in states won by Trump. Even if Trump and the GOP are doing terribly, the Democrats are going to have a very hard time retaining the seats they have. If the Dems lose eight seats, the party will basically be completely out of power in Washington.

The number one thing you can do is to support Democrats keeping their Senate seats, not your local blue state House candidate or Senator. The Democrats would have to pick up three seats to stop Trump's Supreme Court nominees starting next year.

That's extraordinarily unlikely, so the other thing would to not be complacent in thinking that political activism you see up close in blue districts means Democrats will win or that abstainers or Republicans will vote differently. Put in every bit of time and money you can to the races that really matter, into getting abstainers out to vote and to the Senate in particular.
posted by cnc at 2:11 PM on April 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

I should have mentioned that I'm in one of the bluest of the blue states already.

Then I tend to think your options are: drive to the nearest swing state, pay someone who can be there, or phonebank.
posted by salvia at 7:43 PM on April 7, 2017

Participate in https://swingleft.org/ or https://www.sisterdistrict.com/
posted by maurreen at 8:00 PM on April 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

The good news is that there are lots of us 'not an activists' who have been inspired to get involved in the past few months. That's making it a great time to get started, with support structures having sprung up to help. Yes, Indivisible is a great place to try (and if you're nearby, Indivisible Somerville is great). It almost doesn't matter what you try first, because it will either be the right place for you, or you'll meet people who can help you find the right place -- they're pretty interconnected.

Given your blue-statedness and the limited time you have, phone-banking may be a good way for you to help democratic senators get elected in 2018. Since that's a long way off, one thing you could do now is try out phone-banking to see how it suits you, and to do some good in the meantime. House reps don't vote on justices, but there's phone-banking underway now for Jon Ossoff, which you absolutely, easily could get involved with.

But if phone-banking isn't right for you, you'll find your channel. Just connect anywhere and you'll be able to feel your way to where you want to be. You'll be warmly welcomed, and it feels great to do something. Welcome to the resistance!
posted by daisyace at 5:57 AM on April 8, 2017

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