Supremes: Working Hard for the Money
With each reading of your superb Supreme Court edition (Oct. 8), I gain a better understanding of the peril our democracy is in and wonder if/how our elected officials are up to meeting what could be the greatest challenge facing this country ever. It’s a must-read for everyone who wishes to stop our America from becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.
WILLARD B. SHAPIRA
The entire special issue on the Supreme Court was beautifully, beautifully done, I’m truly sorry to see.
I agree wholeheartedly with Nan Aron in “The Way Forward” on the need for more progressive action on the judiciary. But the goal isn’t just to swing the pendulum back in a progressive direction today, but to make the courts a central theme for progressives tomorrow as well. The good news is that the Constitution is on our side. Working to create a judiciary that is true to progressive values and that represents us all will restore the public’s confidence that the courts are where all Americans—not just the rich and powerful—can get justice.
On a tactical level, much of what Aron suggests is already being done. At the Center for American Progress, we developed a progressive message on the courts focused on access to justice for all Americans and judges who are not captured by corporate special interests and rooted that message in the text and history of the Constitution. That message is changing the national conversation. The American Constitution Society was created to develop a “bench for the bench” and is cultivating future judges across the country. The Constitutional Accountability Center is engaged in cutting-edge, cross-issue progressive litigation. Many other organizations have been working on judicial nominations for decades.
Looking forward, progressives need to expand the circle of those who care and who will take action. So we are working to develop a foundation of progressive advocates nationwide who can integrate the courts and nominations into the work they are already doing in other areas. The message is simple: no matter what issue you care about, you must care about who is on the courts.
ANDREW BLOTKY, director, Legal Progress Center for American Progress
CTU: Have We Got Reforms for You!
Pedro Noguera is right [“Chicago Strike Lessons,” Oct. 8] to praise the Chicago teachers for standing up to the political establishment on both sides of the aisle, and his proposals to focus on poverty, changing demographics and growing segregation warrant further effort. However, his claim that the Chicago Teachers Union has been “less clear about what should be done to promote change and improvement” and that the CTU is not “offering a vision for comprehensive change” is completely false. The CTU has put out “The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve,” a lengthy document that details ten research-based proposals. Unlike teacher accountability, high-stakes testing and privatization, these are proven educational reforms (see ctunet.com).