May 22, 2005

Stopping the 'nuclear option.'

The US Senate will be voting on whether to bar filibusters on judicial nominees in two days — the GOP's so-called nuclear option. MoveOn PAC is collecting signatures on a petition opposing the nuclear option that will be going to Senators.

This Tuesday, the Senate will vote on Republican Leader Bill Frist's "nuclear option" to break the rules of the Senate and give the Republican Party absolute control over appointing federal judges.

For 200 years the minority's right to filibuster has kept our courts fair, by making sure that federal judges needed to get at least some support from both sides of the aisle before they were given life time appointments.

If Frist eliminates the filibuster, his next step would be to force far right partisan judges onto the powerful U.S. Courts of Appeals. The real targets, however, are the four seats on the Supreme Court likely to become vacant in the next four years.

With that much power on the Supreme Court, the far right could strike down decades of progress on labor rights, environmental protections, reproductive rights, and privacy.

The "nuclear option" will live or die by a final vote, probably on Tuesday, and the vote is still way too close to call. There are at least 6 moderate Republicans still on the fence and only 3 more votes needed to win. If we can get enough of our voices into congress and into the streets in the next 72 hours, we can still save our courts.

Go here to add your name to the MoveOn PAC petitiion.

This magpie just sent signed the petition, and we plan to call our Republican senator (Gordon Smith) tomorrow and ask that he vote against the 'nuclear option.' If you're in the US, we suggest that you call your senators too.

Posted by Magpie at May 22, 2005 01:21 PM | US Politics | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |