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EarthJustice ALERT - stop appointment of anti-environment judges!

From the EarthJustice ACTION ALERT --

Oppose Judicial Nominee Myers and the Nuclear Option

The Senate will soon vote on the re-nomination of former Interior Solicitor William Myers to a lifetime seat on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decides the fate of environmental safeguards for nine western states. The Senate's Republican leadership is so determined to become a rubber stamp for the White House, they are planning to violate long-standing Senate rules to push through previously blocked, extreme anti-environmental nominees like Myers. This tactic has been dubbed the "nuclear option" by its proponents because it would effectively shut down the Senate.

To tell your senators to oppose William Myers's lifetime nomination go to the EarthJusice link -


AND don't forget to sign the on-line petition of the League of Conservation Voters --


IT'S NOW OR NEVER -- the vote on Myers hasn't been scheduled yet, but it could be as early as next Tuesday!
Better yet download an excellent pdf pamphlet made available by the NAACP. (Myers isn't just anti-environment, he's anti-human.) Check out the NAACP's pdf pamphlet on how to oppose the packing of the courts --


(If you don't have a pdf reader such as Adobe, you can check out the pamphlet as HTML by googling on it -- GOOGLE makes HTML versions available on-line for many pdf files.)

NAACP details many actions in addition to on-line, such as phoning to your senator's office.

You can also write your own letter, using information gathered by Friends of the Earth to assist you in that --


According to Friends of the Earth:

On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on the nomination of William Myers to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a critically important federal court that oversees nearly 500 million acres of western public lands. Myers is a career anti-environmental advocate: he recently served as the top lawyer at the Interior Department, aggressively weakening the same environmental laws that he formerly fought as a lobbyist for the grazing and mining industries. Rather than serving as an impartial judge, Myers will continue acting as a one-sided advocate for special interests if he receives a lifetime judicial appointment.

It wouldn't hurt to let the Democrats in the Senate hear about your opposition to the packing of the courts AND ESPECIALLY YOUR OPPOSITION TO MYERS --


It looks like the Senate Democrats are going for the gusto with a filibuster effort to stop Bush from packing the courts with pro-corporatist anti-environmentalist judges. At first it was mainly wily old Senator Byrd of West Virginia who tested the waters of a major filibuster battle with the majority Republicans. Actually, Byrd didn't just gingerly test the waters, he jumped in with no intention of getting out.

Now the Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid has joined Byrd, with the result that the Democrats are daring the Republicans to make good on their threat to change the long-standing rules of the Senate so as to get around the requirement that judicial nominees must have a super-majority of 60% support in the Senate or they can be succesfully challanged by Senators who have grounds for objection.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): "This is about more than a few unqualified judges, this is about protecting the rights of disabled Americans to work, the rights of minorities to vote, the rights of every American to have clean air, safe drinking water and be heard in Washington."

The Democrats (joined by the lone Independent in the Senate) are ASKING FOR PUBLIC INPUT -- because the filibuster effort will probably fail without it since the Republicans have 55 of the 100 Senate seats. You can show your support on-line or on the phone and/or in the streets -- but if you choose not to do so, don't be blaming me when more trees are cut down and more species go extinct, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE NEOCON REPUBLICANS HAVE THEIR WAY!

I know that I will be accused of being a Democrat, which I am -- I just wish that someone would give me credit for being on the left edge of the Democrats instead of attacking my for the political sins of the right edge. Still, I have to say what I have to say: THIS IS IMPORTANT. If anything that happens in Washington (D.C.) matters, this does!

What has the Democrats seriously pissed is the fact that the Republicans used all the Senate rules available to them to sink most of Clinton's appointments -- including, even when the Democrats controlled the Congress during the first of Clinton's two terms, the appointment of two remarkably well-qualified women to the position of Attorney General. The current Bush nominees are not only pro-corporatist and anti-environmental -- they are generally not even well-qualified!

Check it out --  http://www.democrats.org/scotus/bushrecord.html

Clinton met with all kinds of opposition back in 1993 when he was trying to make good on a commitment to appoint the first woman attorney general. Clinton's first nominee, Zoe Baird, was trounced for failing to pay taxes for an undocumented woman who worked for her. But Clinton's next nominee, Kimba Wood, had SCRUPULOUSLY paid all the taxes on an undocumented woman who had worked for her -- but that didn't matter, the Republicans blackballed her too. What the Republicans objected to about Kimba Wood was that she had once posed in a bikini for a men's magazine. If that wasn't bad enough -- she looked great! Talk about a threat to the Republican world-view: a woman who is not only intelligent but also good-looking.

Check it out --  http://www.feminist.org/research/chronicles/fc1993.html

But all that is comparatively reasonable compared to the treatment given to Lani Guinier when Clinton nominated her to head the civil rights division at the Department of Justice. Guinier was not only extremely well-qualified for the job, smart and good looking -- that's three strikes against her -- she's also African-American. So she didn't even make it past the false gossip-mill twisting of facts that was thrown at her by the Republican echo machine. The Republican attack on Guinier has been termed a "low-tech lynching" --

<< Nearly two years ago, Clarence Thomas sat before the klieg lights and television cameras and declared that he was the victim of a "high-tech lynching." Lani Guinier yearned mightily for that same opportunity, but was denied it by a combination of editorial racism, Senatorial cowardice, and White House incompetence. Lani Guinier was politically lynched, but in a pre-television way. It was a "low-tech lynching."

--Political Woman, vol. 1, no. 9 (July 1993) >>

According to Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting --

<< Lani Guinier: < "Quota Queen" or Misquoted Queen? > by Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas

<< In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier, Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights, her views were not only distorted, but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. >>


Among other "crimes," the Republicans objected to Guinier's interest in Instant Runoff (Preference) Voting as an attack on democracy!

The truth about Guinier --

In July 1998 when she joined the faculty, Lani Guinier became the first black woman tenured professor in Harvard Law School's history. Her appointment was another milestone in a distinguished legal career. Professor Guinier first came to public attention in 1993 when President Clinton nominated her to be the first black woman to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. She had been a civil rights attorney for more than ten years and had served in the Civil Rights Division during the Carter Administration as special assistant to then Assistant Attorney General Drew S. Days. Immediately after her name was put forward in 1993, conservatives virulently attacked Guinier's views on democracy and voting, driving Clinton to withdraw her nomination without a confirmation hearing.


For article by Guinier on the Florida Y2K mess, check out --

The Nation (November 16, 2000) "Making Every Vote Count" by Lani Guinier


If you want more information about how the system works in the Senate with judicial nominees and filibusters --


Also, check out --
"The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party" (a public information project from TheocracyWatch.org)