Demonstrators picketed in more than 30 cities around the country at noon today (Monday, March 21) — including Dallas — to tell Republican senators to “do your job” and hold confirmation hearings on President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Dallas protest was held in front of the office of Sen. Ted Cruz. The homophobic senator, who lives in the Montrose area of Houston, maintains his North Texas office in Oak Lawn.
The day Scalia died, Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate announced they would not vote on any nomination President Barack Obama made to the Supreme Court. On March 16, Obama nominated U.S. Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland to replace Scalia. Garland is considered moderate.
In Oak Lawn, about 50 people gathered outside Cruz’s office building carrying signs telling the senator to “do your job” and “fill the seat.” Four people at a time went up to the senator’s office with that message.
Marsha Fishman of Organizing for Action said more than 30 events were going on in states where senators are up for re-election.
“Our job is to keep the public spotlight on them,” Fishman said.
Al Daniels said the goal was to get just enough Republican senators to avoid a filibuster and hold hearings and then a vote. He said they’re working on planning a similar demonstration at Sen. John Cornyn’s office. Cornyn is Texas’ senior U.S. senator.
“I came to stand in the cold because it’s outrageous that our senator is not doing his constitutional job,” activist Louise Young said. “The Constitution — isn’t that Cruz’s mantra?”
Young said the precedent was set in 1987. Vice President Joe Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee at the time. The committee voted no on Bork’s nomination but then passed it along to the full senate for a vote.
Rabbi Nancy Kasten said the message to Cruz is simple: “Do your job and fill the seat.”