It is clear from the many attorneys that weighed-in on my desire to file a class-action suit against Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership that such an effort is not viable for a variety of reasons. First, thank you to the dozens who rendered their opinions. However, now we are left with the question, if not a class-action suit, then what? The fact is that the Constitution has provided us with the only remedy that seems to be viable in the current situation. We need to vote. Not only do we need to vote, but we need to work to make sure that everyone that we know or have influence over takes the time to vote in November.
Let’s discuss some of the more pertinent issues that will be impacted by our vote. For any of us who were appalled by the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the Supreme Court on Monday, both the 2014 and the 2016 elections are of vital concern. There is little doubt that the Supreme Court will be losing at least one and probably two Justices during the coming 6 years. Who nominates the new Justices, and the makeup of the Senate that approves those new justices will determine the direction of the Court for many years to come. If you are concerned about the reproductive rights of women, LGBT rights, campaign funding issues, voting rights, and the many other issues that will confront the Court during the next decade, you must vote. It is clear that immigration reform doesn’t stand a chance of action, let alone passage in the current House. It has been a year since the Senate sent its comprehensive immigration bill to the House for action. As we know, nothing has happened. Additionally, gun control, putting the heart back into the Voting Rights Act, renewal of unemployment insurance, equal pay requirements and many other issues have withered on the “tree of inaction” planted and tended to with great care by the House GOP majority. The only way to chop down this “tree of inaction” is to vote.
We have heard the pundits telling us that the chances for a Democratic shift in the House is near on to impossible, while it will be a struggle to hold on to a majority in the Senate. Are we willing to believe that these pundits have the power to see into the future? Are we willing to allow them to create a self-fulfilling prophesy? It is true that the gerrymandering implemented by the Republican state governors and legislative majorities in 2010 make Democratic victories in some districts more difficult, but the demographics have changed since 2010. There are more minority voters , more young voters and more women voters. The attempts by a significant number of GOP-controlled state legislatures to corrupt the voter registration and voting laws of their states verifies this fact. A successful “get out the vote” effort in these districts can undo much of what the Gerrymandering did. We may not win in every district we would like to, but we will be sending a clear message that the tide is turning and the day of GOP-created legislative paralysis must come to an end.
The GOP is angry and seeks to sue the President because he is calling them what they are, obstructionists. They are afraid that when they go back to their districts not only will they have no progress to show in their effort to stop Obama in his tracks, but in fact, the President will, through Executive Order, have achieved some of the things they vowed to prevent. The President is utilizing those remedies provided to him by the Constitution to achieve his goals. Now it is our turn to use the remedy provided to us by the Constitution, the vote, to achieve our goals. If you have an idea for another remedy I would love to hear it.