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Alito: Time to Take a Stand

Political posturing, tactics, and considerations about the public reaction to their actions are out of line. Democrats, and principled Republicans in the Senate need to oppose Alito's nomination to the high court as a matter of simple survival of constitutional government. Simply put, Alito thinks Congress is a vestigial irrelevance.

There are times when it is important to forget about tactics and to simply take a stand.

The nomination of Sam Alito to the US Supreme Court is, for Democrats in the Senate, one of those times.

It's not just that Alito is conservative. The Supreme Court and the American nation have survived conservative courts.

It's that Alito supports dictatorship.

Out of simply self-preservation, Senators, Democrat and Republican, should be opposing the appointment as judge of a man who has argued, and still argues, that a president has the right to decide on his own how to interpret Acts passed by Congress, and indeed whether to even obey or enforce those acts. It was Alito, as a lawyer in the administration of Ronald Reagan, who conceived and promoted the idea of "signing documents" which would effectively negate whatever Congress intended in passing a bill into law.

Since then, presidents have occasionally issued such "signing documents", but George W. Bush has written some 500 of them, the most recent being his "signing document" declaring that he would not honor the measure in the military procurement bill banning torture.

If the president has quietly opted out of 500 Congressional bills, he has in essence told Congress that it no longer matters.

Senators who allow this process to stand--and who vote onto the Supreme Court a judge who defends such a presidential power grab--have betrayed their office and the people who elected them to office. They must be removed in the name of defending constitutional government.

It's that simple.

Democrats in Congress have been made fools of by the Republican majority over the past five years (longer really), entering into compromise after compromise only to be stabbed in the back.

Now many of them worry that if they filibuster and block the appointment of Judge Alito, that they will somehow be blamed for being "obstructionist."

First of all, that's ridiculous. No Democrats, and few independents, want Alito on the bench. The only people who will be calling Democrats obstructionist will be Republicans, who will never vote Democratic anyway.

But in the end none of that matters.

This is not about Sen. John Kerry, and whether or not he is a viable 2008 presidential candidate. Blocking Alito--and the Democrats, if they stand together, perhaps with a few principled Republicans, have the 41 votes needed to do that--is a matter crucial to the survival of Constitutional government.

Those who care about preserving the Constitution, and slowing the slide to dictatorship, should call the Democratic National Committee (202-863-8000) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (202-224-2447). Tell them you won't be giving a penny to either committee unless the Senate stands firm on a filibuster and blocks this appointment.

For other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net


send an online fax now! 28.Jan.2006 10:19

saveyourself

You can send an online fax to the senators who have not agreed to fillabuster. There is a nifty website set up that will send your fax on. It also has a map that will appear and show you where the fax's are being sent from in the US at this time. Millions of people are participating. Don't let the deadbeat dems and moderate Repugs get away with this.

go to  http://www.SaveTheCourt.org/AlitoFilibuster

I have tried to send phone messages to both Wyden and Smith and have had trouble getting through to both of them. Thier DC phone lines are jammed. The Portland lines are jammed. I got through to Eugene. I was able to talk to someone in Eugene for Wyden. And, was forced to leave a phone message for Smith.

Time is short. The stakes are high. This is our best, last chance
to stop Alito from taking a seat on our Supreme Court.
Your message will be sent to:

Senator Barack Obama
Senator Christopher Dodd
Senator Joseph Lieberman
Senator Joseph Biden
Senator Richard Durbin
Senator Evan Bayh
Senator Olympia Snowe
Senator Harry Reid
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Lincoln Chafee
Senator Russell Feingold

Here is a copy of the message that will be sent

Samuel Alito's record is clear, and so is the threat posed by his nomination: presidential power unchecked by judicial oversight; Congress stripped of much of its ability to protect the environment; Americans stripped of their right to privacy and
subject to abuses of corporate and government power.

I understand that the filibuster is not a tool to be used trivially. Alito is not a trivial threat. Stand up for your Senate, stand up for the Constitution, and stand up for we, the people. I ask you to filibuster Samuel Alito's nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

Sincerely,


Filibuster Alito: Who To Call 29.Jan.2006 11:55

CODEPINK

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/332656.shtml

Actions & Crafts!

The Democrats need to pull together and filibuster Alito's confirmation. It only takes one senator to filibuster, but it takes 40 (out of 45 Democrats, plus the spare Republican here and there), to support his/her right to do so and keep the floor open.

Here are the Senators to call, with the reason we think they should be talked with (for example, Dems who voted for Roberts, Bush's last nomination, are more likely to vote for Alito as well). They are roughly prioritized, but that of course depends on your personal priorities and approach. You might want to focus on CHOICE (expected to be the biggest issue in this confirmation).

All you have to say is "I'm calling to register my firm opposition to Alito's confirmation and my support for a filibuster", although of course it's fun to dress that up with a rant about your favorite issue, the threat not to vote for him/her, questions about their voting plans, etc. Ask your representatives to be corageous and represent what they have worked so hard for and to stand strong for what they believe in.

Free numbers for D.C Capitol Switchboard (they'll connect you to any Congressperson, or give you their address):

1-866-340-9281

1-866-340-9279

1-888-355-3588

OR go to  http://www.congress.org/ for easy links to contacting your own senators.

OR order a telegram to be delivered to a senator for $12.95 at congress.com!

P.S. Don't see why this is important? Review information and issues on why the Alito thing is so crucial at Save the Court.org: here

Our Favorite Democrats
to Contact to Support a Filibuster
MA: Edward Kennedy
(202) 224-4543
Boston:617-565-3170
Kennedy is doing a great job opposing Alito, and is a strong candidate to filibuster. Call and support him!

MA: John Kerry
(202) 224-2742
Boston:671-565-8519
Calling our own representatives is probably going to be the most effective!

NY: Hilary Clinton
(202) 224-4451
website:  http://clinton.senate.gov/

NY: Chuck Schumer
(202) 224-6542
Schumer has also done a great job questioning Alito, and is "not ruling out" a filibuster. Call and support him!

CA: Barbara Boxer
(202) 224-3553
website:  http://boxer.senate.gov/

CA: Dianne Feinstein
(202) 224-3841
Feinstein voted against Roberts and plans on voting against Alito, but was quoted by Associated Press on Sunday as saying, "This might be a man I disagree with, but it doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court." Call and tell her that YOU disagree with the man, and that DOES mean he shouldn't be on the court - we need a filibuster!
Update: Feinstein was quoted in the Washington Post recently saying she will not support a filibuster. Do your best to see if you can still convince her otherwise!
Update:How about also calling Sen. Diane Feinstein D-CA and telling her to stop stating self-defeating obits for the filibuster on Alito. Her husband is a big corporate guy (read as "conflict of interest") -- is Alito's long record of corporate bias a factor in her going light on Alito?

HI: Daniel Inouye
(202) 224-3934
website:  http://inouye.senate.gov/
Inouye voted against Roberts, but is in the Gang of 14.

WI: Russell Feingold
202-224-5323
Feingold has said he plans to run for president in the next election. Show him he won't have your support if he supports Alito's approval!

NV: Harry Reid
(202) 224-3542
website: reid.senate.gov/email_form.cfm (includes a contact form)
Reid is the Senate Minority Leader. He is not planning to filibuster as yet.

VT: Patrick Leahy
(202) 224-4242
Leahy sits on the Judiciary Committee and voted for Roberts' nomination. On the bright side, AP reported that he is standing up for the Democrats' right to delay the committee vote a day so that the Democratic caucus can meet. Call and tell him that he's on the right track but that he needs to do more - FILIBUSTER.

IL: Richard Durbin
(202) 224-2152
Durbin is the Senate Minority Whip, and he should be pulling together the Dems. But he seems unconvinced so far: "We can only afford to lose five senators favoring Judge Alito before a filibuster is impossible. It's a very tight margin, and I'm not going to presume one way or the other whether my colleagues are even interested." (1/13/06)

NJ: Robert Menendez
(202) 224-7919
Menendez is being appointed to replace Jon Corzine, and will take office January 17th - just days before the Alito vote. It will be his first important vote as a Senator, so call and tell him to make it a good one! (He's also up for re-election this year)

CT: Joseph Lieberman
(202) 224-4041
Voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006. He has pledged not to support a filibuster unless under "extraordinary circumstances." Tell him this is extraordinary!

WV: Robert Byrd
(202) 224-3954
Byrd voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006. He has pledged not to support a filibuster unless under "extraordinary circumstances." Tell him this is extraordinary!

AR: Mark Pryor
(202) 224-2353
Nelson voted for Roberts and has pledged not to support a filibuster unless under "extraordinary circumstances." Tell him this is extraordinary!

NM: Jeff Bingaman
(202) 224-5521
Bingaman voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006

WI: Herb Kohl
(202) 224-5653
Kohl voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006.

NE: Ben Nelson
(202) 224-6551
Nelson voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006. He has pledged not to support a filibuster unless under "extraordinary circumstances." Tell him this is extraordinary!

CO: Ken Salazar
(202) 224-5852
Salazer voted for Roberts and has pledged not to support a filibuster unless under "extraordinary circumstances." Tell him this is extraordinary!

ND: Kent Conrad
(202) 224-2043
Conrad voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006.

MI: Carl Levin
(202) 224-6221
Levin voted for Roberts and is up for re-election in 2006

These twelve Senators all voted for Roberts and are likely to be swing votes on Alito:

AR Blanche Lincoln
(202) 224-4843

ND Byron Dorgan
(202) 224-2551

CT Christopher Dodd
(202) 224-2823

OR Ron Wyden
(202) 224-5244

SD Tim Johnson
(202) 224-5842

DE Thomas Carper
(202) 224-2441

FL Bill Nelson
(202) 224-5274

WA Patty Murray
(202) 224-5274

LA Mary Landrieu
(202) 224-5824

MT Max Baucus
(202) 224-2651

WV John Rockefeller
(202) 224-6472

WI Russell Feingold
(202) 224-5323



Our Eight Favorite Moderate Republicans
To Convince to Accept a Filibuster
These have pledged not to support the "nuclear option" (changing Senate rules so that a judicial nominee filibuster could be overcome with only 51 votes):

NAME (State) PHONE EMAIL WEBSITE &
OTHER INFO
McCain (Arizona) (202) 224-2235 see website  http://mccain.senate.gov/
Graham (South Carolina) (202) 224-5972 see website  http://lgraham.senate.gov/
Warner (Virginia) (202) 224-2023 see website  http://warner.senate.gov/
DeWine (Ohio) (202) 224-2315 see website  http://dewine.senate.gov/

These have pledged not to support a filibuster unless in "extraordinary circumstances":

NAME (State) PHONE EMAIL WEBSITE &
OTHER INFO
Specter (Pennsylvania) (202) 224-4254 see website
 http://specter.senate.gov/

Specter is Chair of the Judiciary Committee and pro-choice.

Update: Why not also call Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee,and remind him of this quote from his 2000 book, Passion for Truth: "[T]he Senate should resist, if not refuse to confirm Supreme Court nominees who refuse to answer questions on fundamental issues. In voting on whether or not to confirm a nominee, senators should not have to gamble or guess about a candidate's philosophy, but should be able to judge on the basis of the candidate's expressed views."
Chafee (Rhode Island) (202) 224-2921 see website
 http://chafee.senate.gov/

Chafee has considered switching parties, is pro-choice, and is up for re-election in 2006. He has pledged not to support the "nuclear option" (changing Senate rules so that a judicial nominee filibuster could be overcome with only 51 votes).
Collins (Maine) (202) 224-2523 see website
 http://collins.senate.gov/

She is pro-choice and has pledged not to support the "nuclear option" (changing Senate rules so that a judicial nominee filibuster could be overcome with only 51 votes).
Snowe (Maine) (202) 224-5344 see website
 http://snowe.senate.gov/

Snowe is pro-choice and up for re-election in 2006. She has also pledged not to support the "nuclear option" (changing Senate rules so that a judicial nominee filibuster could be overcome with only 51 votes).



*** CRAFT TIME! ***
Here's the craft project, to make very graphic the need to keep abortion legal --

Hang real hangers with tags on them or posters or cards with pictures of hangers on them EVERYWHERE. Clearly write slogan on tags or slogan on the posters/cards that says:

Remember Back Alley Abortions

FILIBUSTER ALITO

Try to especially hang them near your Senators' home offices so their aides will see them, but EVERYWHERE will help. We need to get others aboard too.



Extra Credit
Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Committee
phone: (202) 863-8000
e-mail:  DeanH@dnc.org

Extra Credit #2
Read State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration by James Risen, Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times reporter!