This week marks a national initiative to highlight transparency, accountability and open government. The timing could not be better.
Sunshine Week, March 12-18, falls the week before confirmation hearings begin for Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
National discourse has centered on the president’s commitment to core constitutional values and his understanding of the importance of rule of law. Indeed, leading constitutional scholars have already raised red flags on numerous issues and lawsuits have been filed.
Events of the last few months have increased the gravity of the decision about who should fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is often the last defense for our Constitution and it is imperative that any nominee not be beholden to any one person, let alone the president of the United States.
Throughout his campaign and since his election, the president repeatedly emphasized that his Supreme Court nominee would be the most conservative jurist he could find, and he made sure his nominee passed a series of litmus tests, including on reproductive rights and gun safety laws. This compromises the independence of the judiciary at a time when we especially need to rely on the courts to make their own assessment of the constitutionality of legislative and executive actions. Decisions from federal judges across the country impact the lives of all of us, from how we are treated in the workplace, how the law regards women, racial minorities and those with disabilities, among others, consumer protections, the safety of our environment, our right to vote and our immigration system – just to name a few issues.