"What I want to see is the filibuster rule changed at the beginning of this new Congress." -- Christian Coalition Founder Pat Robertson, 11/8/04
"One way or another, the filibusters of judicial nominations must end." -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), 11/11/04
"Majority Leader Bill Frist has announced that if Democrats filibuster the nominations he expects to bring to the floor next month, he'll take action." -- Wall Street Journal, 1/24/05
The terrifying truth is, we could lose our fight against a right-wing Supreme Court takeover before a vacancy and nomination occur. And it could happen as early as next month.
Your help is needed at this critical moment. You can do three things right now:
* Sign the petition opposing elimination of the filibuster, to be delivered to senators whose votes we need to win this fight.
* Forward this call to action to your friends and family members.
* Donate to the Supreme Court Defense Fund.
In a grab for ultimate power over the Supreme Court, Radical Right leaders like Pat Robertson, James Dobson and Jerry Falwell are urging senators to make a pre-emptive strike that will leave Americans unable to defend against far-right Court nominees. Their target is the 200-year-old tradition of the Senate filibuster, the tool that empowers 41 or more senators to prevent a narrow majority from abusing its power. It was used last Congress to keep a number of President Bush's most extreme judicial nominees off the bench. In a situation where one party controls the White House and the Senate, the filibuster is one of the only ways to encourage genuine bipartisan cooperation and compromise on important issues.
If the filibuster is eliminated, Bush, Cheney and 50 senators could steamroll up to four new justices onto the Court -- even one or two could create a right-wing majority that would undermine the Voting Rights Act of 1965, gut the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, overturn Roe v. Wade, and much, much more.
Stand up against this unprecedented power-grab. Sign the petition now and forward it to your friends and family.
The Radical Right has a name that captures how destructive their plan is. It's called the "nuclear option," and the man with his finger on the button is one of the most extreme members of the Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist. With his perfect voting-record scores from the Christian Coalition, Family Research Council and other far-right groups, Frist is just the man Robertson and company want leading this charge.
Frist needs the votes of half the Senate plus Vice President Cheney's tie-breaker to succeed in this bare-knuckles move to eliminate the filibuster. That means we must win the votes of all 44 Democratic senators, the one Independent, and at least six courageous Republicans to stop him. Fortunately, there are some Republicans who understand how dangerous it is to sacrifice this historic check on the abuse of power for short-term political gain. But they will be under enormous pressure from Frist, Bush, Karl Rove and their allies. Not a single vote can be taken for granted.
Sign the petition today! We'll send copies to your senators and hand-deliver the petitions to the Republican senators we believe may be willing to resist this attack on such an important part of our system of checks and balances.
Be sure to forward the petition to friends and family who are the constituents of the GOP senators listed at the bottom of this message.
But we can't stop this threat with a barrage of petitions alone. Organized ground campaigns, paid media and public events are crucial in the 15 states listed. And we have weeks, not months, to do it.
Please make a donation to our Supreme Court Defense Fund.
Be as generous as you can. Your dollars can go a long way in many of these rarely targeted states, but our field and media teams need these resources quickly. The launch of the "nuclear option" is not tied to a Supreme Court vacancy. Any filibusteragainst a judicial nominee could be used as an excuse to abolish all that separates us from the Supreme Court of Pat Robertson's dreams.
We must stop Senator Frist's power-grab, we must protect the Court, and we must do it now. There is no other battle that means more to the next 40 years than this one.
Ralph G. Neas
People For the American Way