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Civics, history and social studies teachers to U.S. Senate: do your job

Teachers urge Senators to hold a hearing and a vote on Supreme Court nominee

WASHINGTON - April 26, 2016 -

A dozen civics, history and social studies teachers from across the country today sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging it to do its job and hold a hearing and an up-or-down vote President Barack Obama’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court: Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The National Education Association (NEA) also is launching an online petition asking the American public to join educators and the growing chorus of voices urging the Senate to act on the president’s nominee.

In the letter, the twelve teachers write, in part:

“As educators in the classroom, we believe it is our responsibility to help students learn about—and appreciate—the role citizens play in our democracy. We teach that being a good citizen requires cooperation, mutual respect, and the ability to compromise. When our students work in groups, they work together and do their jobs, even when they are not friends or have disagreements.

“Please help us teach our students the true meaning of democracy. Demonstrate that America’s leaders can put aside their differences to do their jobs. For the sake of the students who are the future of America, we urge you to hold a hearing and up-or-down vote on Judge Garland, the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court.”

NEA and allies also are urging the U.S. Senate to do its job by considering the president’s nominee and hold a hearing and a vote so that the court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.

“The stakes are high for millions of Americans, including students and their families, because the Supreme Court's decisions have a profound affect on all of us,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Recent cases illustrate the practical and real implications of the Court’s decisions. That is why these teachers are writing their Senators urging them to do their job and fill the vacancy on the court.”

“Read the letter. Never in our nation’s history has a Senate majority said they refuse to consider or vote on anyone nominated by the current president,” said Eskelsen García. “By refusing to consider the president’s nominee, Senate Republicans are playing political games, delaying action on the Supreme Court nomination, caving to the extreme voices of their party, and putting politics ahead of their constitutional duty.”

“I join educators across the country in urging the Senate to move quickly to hold a hearing and a vote to confirm Judge Garland so that the court can continue to serve the American people at full strength,” concluded Eskelsen García.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez