THE NUCLEAR OPTION
It's not about Senate rules...
Here's the bottom line: If the right-wing Republican zealots in Congress are successful in implementing the Nuclear Option to end the filibuster, they will have full control over every judge who will be seated on the federal courts . . . including the Supreme Court.
NOW is out in full force to stop the Nuclear Option:
Together we can mount a tactical campaign that our legislators will be unable to ignore.
We've been asking for your help, to reach out to wavering senators and keep our friends close, and we will continue to call on you - it is your phone calls, messages and visits that are turning the tide.
But at this moment, we need your help to fund our outreach efforts. Please give a generous contribution to our "No Nukes" Fund.
If we do not stop this juggernaut, generations of women will be at risk. If we allow the right wing to re-write the rules so that every reactionary Bush nominee is a slam dunk, we will have lost far more than any election or legislative battle.
Because it will make any extremist Supreme Court nominee a slam dunk as well.
For us and our children, the fallout will be unthinkable.
For equality and justice,
Recently, the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee, on a straight party-line vote, agreed to send two controversial appellate court nominees to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote: Janice Rogers Brown for U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Priscilla Owen for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
This vote was no routine matter. In fact, by this simple action of approving two extremist judges who were filibustered by Democrats in the prior administration, the Republicans signaled the impending launch of their "nuclear option" plan.
Any pretense of bipartisanship was jettisoned by this divisive action. Not satisfied with a more than 95 percent confirmation rate, Senate Republicans made it clear that they will only be satisfied with a complete takeover of the federal courts.
The concepts of "advice and consent" and "checks and balances" are viewed as nothing more than roadblocks to their complete domination of all three branches of government.
Do not be confused by the hype. All the talk about changing Senate rules has nothing to do with the nominee being considered at the time - as loathsome as that individual may be - and has everything to do with clearing an easy path for the next Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia to sit on the Supreme Court.
The debate around arcane Senate procedures is just an underhanded way for the Republicans to change the confirmation rules for lifetime appointments in midstream.
Although the Senate has confirmed more than 200 Bush judicial nominees, the administration wants the rules changed so that all of their nominees will be quickly rubberstamped, without serious examination of their records. We have witnessed a parade of nominated judges whose records demonstrate that they would turn their backs on abortion rights, civil rights, disability rights, privacy rights, and the environment and we have spent a lot of time contesting each nominee on the merits.
However, in constantly fighting these individual battles we risk missing the forest for the trees. What really is at stake is not whether one judge or another sits on the bench (although certainly each one of these judges could do a world of damage) but what is ultimately at stake is the Supreme Court, and with it our rights and the rights of our daughters to live in a country that recognizes and respects women's rights, civil rights and human rights.
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