Why do Republicans hate America?March 10, 2010 at 2:57 am | Posted in civil rights, law, Obama!, politics straight up, Reality Bites, senate | 1 Comment
Tags: Barack Obama, Legal Services Corporation, politics, Sharon Browne, Tom Harkin, US Senate
For over 25 years I have been employed preparing transcripts in criminal cases in Massachusetts. A large percentage of the work I do is for the Committee for Public Counsel — public defenders for indigent defendants. In my opinion, these men and women are unsung heroes who work long hours for very little pay in order to represent people who most of us would not care to meet at a backyard barbecue. The United States Constitution guarantees every defendant the right to an attorney. Unfortunately, not all of us have the wherewithal to afford to hire one.
Los Angeles was the first community to provide public defenders for indigent defendants, in 1913. In 1971, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C.§ 3006A, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit approved the creation of The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas.
In 1974 Congress created the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) whose mission is “to promote equal access to justice in our Nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons.”
In keeping with the desire of members of the Republican party to destroy all meaningful protections of the Constitution, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell recommended nomination for a position on the board of directors of LSC a person who has worked diligently to cut off public funding of attorneys for poor people. Her name is Sharon Browne.
But Ms. Browne is not awaiting confirmation simply by the good graces of Senator McConnell. She also has President Obama to thank. He was absolutely free to decline to include her name. It’s hard to imagine that no one inside the White House was aware of Sharon Browne’s agenda. And it’s disheartening to once again see this Democratic administration miss another opportunity to show that it had any more respect for the rule of law than Republican administrations.
Has a single Democrat stepped up to put a hold on Ms. Browne’s nomination? No.
In fact, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), as chair of the senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, has penciled her in on today’s schedule for a vote of approval prior to a allow her nomination to proceed to a full vote by the senate.
Do not allow sit idly by while the Republicans insert another corrosive element into the federal government. Their only intent is to so weaken the effectiveness of our government and our ability to enjoy the protections guaranteed each one of us under the Constitution. Call your Democratic senators. Ask that they grow a set and place a hold on this disgraceful nominee, or that at the very least they vote no on confirmation.