WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite the overwhelming public consensus, including from over 500 editorial boards in 49 states, that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland deserves a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote this year, Senator Blunt and fellow Republicans still haven’t gotten the message.

That’s why Americans United for Change has hit the road with a nine-state, nine-day mobile billboard tour featuring local leaders to underscore the urgent need for nine Justices. The message to Senator Blunt is simple: Do Your Job and Fill the Vacant Seat on the Supreme Court, or Someone Else Will Fill Yours. (Next Stops: Jefferson City and St. Louis on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016. *See details below.) The 9-9-9 Tour is part of the Constitutional Responsibility Project pressuring Senators to do their constitutional duty.

April 27th marked 42 days since the President nominated Judge Garland to fill the seat left behind by the death of Justice Scalia. 42 days is the average time Supreme Court nominees have been welcomed inside the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room to answers questions about their record. If history was followed, Garland would have faced the committee this last week. But Senator Blunt clearly doesn’t care about precedent, the clear will of Missouri voters, or even the Constitution when it becomes inconvenient. Rather than do his job, Senator Blunt is blindly following the lead of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who have made the unprecedented, rankly partisan choice to refuse a hearing to a nominee with more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history. Awkwardly, many of the same Republicans stiff-arming Judge Garland today previously lauded him as exceptionally qualified to serve on the nation’s second most powerful court.

WHAT: 9-9-9 Tour Missouri Stop #1: Jefferson City

WHO: Democratic Missouri State Legislators

WHERE: Missouri State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO (High Street overlooking the Capitol)

WHEN: May 4th, 2016 at 9:15 a.m. CT

WHAT: 9-9-9 Tour Missouri Stop #2: St. Louis

WHO: Local labor leaders and attorneys

WHERE: In front of Senator Blunt’s St. Louis Office 7700 Bonhomme, Clayton, MO 63105

WHEN: May 4th, 2016 at 2 pm CT

WHY: Long-Term Supreme Court Vacancy Leads to Federal Judicial Dysfunction, Uncertainty for Millions: Over 350 law professors warned in a letter to Congressional leaders: ‘A long-term vacancy jeopardizes the Supreme Court’s ability to resolve disputed questions of federal law, causing uncertainty and hampering the administration of justice across the country.’ Put another way: “Any 4-4 tied votes from the Court would result in a default upholding of decisions by regional circuit courts or state supreme courts. Some circuit courts could make federal law for the entire nation. In other areas of the law, Americans could have different constitutional rights in different parts of the country. The U.S. Supreme Court could hold some of these cases over until its next term—which starts in October—leaving millions of Americans waiting for justice.” USA Today recognized signs of dysfunction are already apparent: “Cases large and small are ending in tie votes. The pace of decisions has slowed slightly, and fewer new cases are being granted.”



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