Fillibuster

Dear Reid,

For months, Senate Democrats have been heroically holding out against President Bush’s nominations of extremist judges to America’s most powerful courts. We’ve supported these Senators in this fight. Now the right wing is trying to break our resolve. Despite the fact that the Senate has confirmed 168 of his nominees, the right wing is hopping mad that we’ve blocked just 4 of the most hard-core ideologues.

Republicans have scheduled 30 hours of debate in the Senate on this issue, beginning tonight. They’re hoping that our friends there, who have courageously supported filibusters blocking the most extreme nominees, will fold under this pressure. This debate is about appeals court nominees, but we all know it’s also a test run for a possible Supreme Court vacancy, which could occur soon if justices Rehnquist or O’Connor retire.

Our campaign to stop Bush’s extremist nominees has been extraordinarily successful so far. Miguel Estrada, who was widely thought to be President Bush’s top pick for the Supreme Court, withdrew his name from consideration after Senators filibustered his nomination. This was a major victory—the first time Bush has conceded defeat on any nomination. Now, we have a chance to support filibusters against these other right-wing ideologues:

Janice Brown, whom the New York Times described as “among the very worst” of Bush’s nominees, also writing that: “As an archconservative justice on the California Supreme Court, she has declared war on the mainstream legal values that most Americans hold dear.”

Priscilla Owen, who represents the “far right wing” of the Texas Supreme Court. One of her many rightward dissents from that court’s majority opinions was described as an “unconscionable act of judicial activism” by Alberto Gonzalez, who was then also a justice on the Texas court but is now President Bush’s chief White House Counsel.

Carolyn Kuhl, who threw out a suit brought by a woman with breast cancer whose doctor had brought a drug company salesman into the examining room where he witnessed an intimate examination of her. A unanimous appeals court later reversed Kuhl’s decision.

Charles Pickering, who took extraordinary and ethically questionable steps to try to reduce a mandatory jail sentence for a man convicted of burning an eight-foot cross on the lawn of an interracial couple.

Please call your senator to offer your support. The debate begins tonight.

Sincerely,

The MoveOn team

I know how you feel. I, too, once loved a woman who didn’t love me back. I tried to quell my despair by taking an interest in other subjects. I tried art, music, politics, dentistry. Not even novacaine could numb the pain.

And then, I found my true calling: Trivial Pursuit®. That’s right, the holy quest for tiny wedges of plastic earned through the accumulation of thousands of nuggets of useless information saved my life. Only in a Trivial Pursuit® game will you be asked questions as zany as, “Was Humpty Dumpty pushed?” and as difficult as “What modern day animal is related to the prehistoric merychippus?” (I’d answer those questions for you, but that would destroy my advantage.)

Now, I’m not advocating that you take up Trivial Pursuit®—there are lots of other board games out there that can be just as effective at easing your broken heart. You might try Cranium®, for example, which combines the best elements of Trivial Pursuit®, Pictionary®, Charades®, and even Play-Doh®. Or, may I suggest one of the many varieties of Monopoly® or Risk®, if you prefer something with more of a focus on real estate or world domination. Then again, maybe board games aren’t your bag. In that case, I’d recommend whiling away the lonely hours with a rousing round of Catch Phrase® or Pass the Pigs®. Any of these activities is sure to take your mind off that lost love of yours.

You’ll never fill that gaping void in your heart by filibustering against right-wing judicial nominees. I know, I’ve tried.

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