Media Advisory: Iowa Fair Courts Coalition Representative Invited to White House

Media Advisory:  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 3, 2013
Contact:           Sue Dinsdale, sdinsdale@iowacan.org, 515-480-3240

Iowa Fair Courts Coalition Representative Invited to White House

Iowa Citizen Action Network to Represent Iowa at Forum on the Federal Judiciary

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa Citizen Action Network Executive Director Sue Dinsdale will be travelling to Washington, DC for a Wednesday, June 5th White House Forum on Judicial Vacancies and the Importance of the Courts.  This policy briefing will connect leading advocacy organizations to senior Obama Administration officials on issues critical to their community.

“During the past year ICAN, along with several other organizations listed below, has formed the Iowa Fair Courts Coalition,” said Dinsdale. “We are becoming more and more concerned about the crisis in the federal courts, so we have engaged organizations, businesses, individuals and policy makers who believe that access to fair and impartial courts is a crucial component of a healthy democracy.  All of this is of particular interest here in Iowa with Senator Grassley serving as the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

President Obama’s judicial nominees wait an average of 116 days on the Senate floor for a vote — more than three times longer than President Bush’s confirmed judges at this point in his presidency, who waited an average of only 37 days. Over the past four years, even consensus nominees who were supported unanimously by the bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee have been subject to unprecedented delays and filibusters. This unwarranted obstruction is detrimental to our courts and the lives of millions of Americans.

“The Iowa Fair Courts Coalition agrees that everyone deserves their fair day in court, but courts without judges deny Americans their access to justice.  Our country faces a judicial crisis with federal courts across the nation in desperate need of judges to fill empty courtrooms,” continued Dinsdale. “While senators play politics with judicial nominations, well-qualified nominees wait to be seated, cases go unheard, and a growing number of Americans find it increasingly difficult to assert their legal and constitutional rights.”

Dinsdale concluded, “We know that recent cases demonstrate that no matter the issue – voting rights, immigration, marriage equality, employment discrimination, health care, consumer protections, privacy– the judiciary will continue to play an increasingly important role in the lives of hardworking Americans.”

Iowa Fair Courts Coalition Vision Statement:

The Iowa Fair Courts Coalition is a coalition of organizations, businesses, individuals and policy makers who believe that access to fair and impartial courts is a crucial component of a healthy democracy. We value a strong judiciary that includes judges who are fair, competent, and who have a breadth of experiences. We deserve a judiciary that will defend justice and will not be bought or sold by politicians. We will advocate for a robust and healthy judiciary that values civil liberties, equality under the law, and above all: justice.

Mission statement:

Together, our coalition will advocate for fair and competent nominations to state and federal judicial vacancies, nominees that have a breadth of experience, swift confirmations of those nominations, and we will hold our elected officials in Iowa and Washington, DC accountable for any delays.

Coalition partners:

This coalition includes: One Iowa, Americans for Democratic Action, Working Families Win, the Iowa Citizen Action Network, and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

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