WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court, being the highest court in our nation, has the final say on a myriad of issues important to almost all Americans, including civil rights, integration, affirmative action, education rights and policies, workplace discrimination, police brutality, voting rights, religious freedom, prayer in schools, the death penalty, immigration and school vouchers; and
WHEREAS, over the last 11 years the Court has heard an average of four cases regarding questions involving race per year; and
WHEREAS, almost half of these have been voting rights cases; and
WHEREAS, in order for the decisions of the Supreme Court to be accepted and respected throughout our nation, it should be the goal of the President to seek input from as many of the diverse communities of our nation as possible in the selection of nominees to fill any vacancies that may occur on the Court; and
WHEREAS, on July 1, 2005, United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor decided to retire after 24 years of commendable service; and
WHEREAS, Justice O'Connor has consistently served as an independent voice on our nation's highest court; and
WHEREAS, on many occasions, Justice O'Connor has provided the swing vote in 5-4 decisions; and
WHEREAS, the most significant example of this is the Supreme Court's decision in Grutter v. University of Michigan, where she ruled that affirmative action in higher education was lawful to support a diverse student body; and
WHEREAS, Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist has been suffering from thyroid cancer and is expected to retire in the near future.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on the President of the United States to solicit and sincerely take into consideration the opinions of a wide variety of people, including those of both major political parties, national civil rights, civil liberties and community based organizations as well as legal scholars from across the ideological spectrum when selecting his next nominee to fill any and all vacancies on the US Supreme Court; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on every member of the United States Senate, from both political parties, to provide the President with advice, guidance and consent on the selection of the next Supreme Court nominee; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP joins many other national civil rights and civil liberties organizations in urging the President to nominate and the United States Senate to confirm, moderate, consensus-oriented jurists, who have a deep respect for the law and for the civil rights and civil liberties of individuals to fill the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as any other judicial vacancies that may occur.