Ten important questions in Rhode Island constitutional law

Ten important questions in Rhode Island constitutional law

With the Republicans breaking their own rules to ram through a far-right extremist replacement for Justice Ginsberg at the national level, many Americans now fear for their basic constitutional rights. Many Americans worry that they will lose their healthcare coverage, their ability to terminate a pregnancy safely, or their freedom to marry the person they love. These questions are also of crucial importance in our own state, and it’s time for us to talk about them. Constitutional law is incredibly powerful. At the national level, the right-wing has weaponized it. Here in Rhode Island, progressives need to start caring about our own state’s constitution . Because it matters. A lot. Rhode Island’s Supreme Court currently consists of five justices, each of which was appointed by a Republican Governor and confirmed by a conservative (but nominally Democratic) General Assembly. But we have a chance at major change. One of the single most important issues that the new General Assembly will face will be the vetting of two Raimondo nominees for Rhode Island’s Supreme Court. In Rhode Island, Supreme Court justices are confirmed by both the House and the Senate (unlike other judges who are just confirmed by the Senate), so this will be a very important issue facing members of the House of Representatives as well. I’ve been through several judicial confirmations for lower level courts in the Senate, and one thing that has been strikingly absent from the conversation has been what the nominees actually think about the important […]

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