Kerry has Called for a Filibuster
Kerry's office has confirmed he is calling for a filibuster!
Spread the news and call your Senator: 888.355.3588 or 888.818.6641:
"Given how high the stakes are, our decision cannot be based on whether Judge Alito is a smart man; whether he is a nice man; whether he is an accomplished man; or even whether he is well-respected in legal circles. He is all these things. But, what we must consider is the impact a Justice Alito will have on the Court and whether that is good for our country, our Constitution, and the American people. I firmly believe the answer is no.
President Bush had the opportunity to nominate someone who would unite the country in a time of extreme divisiveness. He chose not to do this, and that is his right. But that he didn't and how this nomination happened tells us a great deal about this presidency and how politics is driving this process.
Under fire from his conservative base for nominating Harriet Miers--a woman whose judicial philosophy they mercilessly attacked--President Bush broke to extreme right-wing demands. This was a coup. Miers was removed and Alito was installed. The President did not consult with members of the Senate, as is required by the Constitution. He gave no thought to what the American people really wanted--or needed.
Instead, he made this nomination about his political base. He made it about an ideological shift in the Court. He made it about unassailable conservative credentials and an unimpeachable conservative judicial philosophy.
If you need proof, just look at the response of Ann Coulter. Ms. Coulter is as inflammatory and as conservative as anyone in the country. She makes her living through character assassination. She denounced the nomination of John Roberts. She attacked the nomination of Harriet Miers, calling her completely unqualified and lamenting that President Bush had 'thrown away a Supreme Court seat.' Yet she celebrated the nomination of Samuel Alito, stating that Bush gave Democrats 'a right-hook' with this 'stunningly qualified' nominee. This from a woman who said that Republicans need to nominate a person who 'wake[s] up every morning . . . chortling about how much his latest opinion will tick off the left.'
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that conservatives have jumped to support Judge Alito. After reviewing more than 400 of Judge Alito's opinions, law professors at Yale Law School concluded that:
'In the area of civil rights law, Judge Alito consistently has used procedural and evidentiary standards to rule against female, minority, age and disability claimants. . . Judge Alito seems relatively willing to defer to the claims of employers and the government, over those advancing civil rights claims.'
Similarly, a Knight-Ridder review of Judge Alito's opinions concluded that Judge Alito 'has worked quietly but resolutely to weave a conservative legal agenda into the fabric of the nation's laws' and that he 'seldom sided with a criminal defendant, a foreign national facing deportation, an employee alleging discrimination or consumers suing big business.'
After reviewing 221 of Judge Alito's opinions in divided cases, the Washington Post concluded that Judge Alito is 'clearly tough-minded . . . having very little sympathy for those asserting rights against the government.'
The pattern here is clear--and it's unacceptable. We cannot put someone on the Court who makes access to justice harder and more illusive. We cannot put someone on the Court who will fail to serve as an effective check on excessive executive power."