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URGENT! STOP GOP Assault on the Filibuster!

Reported by Marie Therese - January 25, 2005

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

COMMENT

Dear News Hounds readers, this one's important. Below please find a copy of a letter from Ralph Neas of People for the American Way asking for your help to stop the GOP assault on the filibuster.

For those of our readers who live in one of the critical states, we're asking you to please take the time to personally contact YOUR own Republican Senator(s), and tell them that you are opposed to this short-sighted attempt to gut a traditional right of the Senate. Contact information provided below.

Money will also be needed to run ads in the critical 15 states. A donation link is also provided.

RALPH NEAS (PFAW) LETTER

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 to the right.

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.

Thank you,
Ralph G. Neas
President
People For the American Way

Important Links:
Petition - http://pfaw.kintera.org/savethefilibuster/
Donate - http://pfaw.kintera.org/savethefilibusterdonations
More Resources - http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=17707.

Here are the GOP senators most likely to choose principle and tradition over party. The link provided below will allow you to contact them directly.

Alaska
Sen. Ted Stevens and
Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Arizona
Sen. John McCain

Indiana
Sen. Richard Lugar

Iowa
Sen. Charles Grassley

Kansas
Sen. Pat Roberts

Maine
Sen. Olympia Snowe and
Sen. Susan Collins

Mississippi
Sen. Thad Cochran

Nebraska
Sen. Chuck Hagel

New Hampshire
Sen. John Sununu

New Mexico
Sen. Pete Domenici

Ohio
Sen. Mike DeWine and
Sen. George Voinovich

Oregon
Sen. Gordon Smith

Pennsylvania
Sen. Arlen Specter

Rhode Island
Sen. Lincoln Chafee

Virginia
Sen. John Warner

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm


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