BREAKING: KERRY WILL LEAD FILIBUSTER!!!!!

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Update 10:00 pm: Barak Obama working against us?

Update 6:50 pm: Kennedy supports filibuster with this statement.  Here's Kerry's statement.

Update 5:50 pm: AP reports "The Senate will vote Monday on cutting off debate. If Alito's supporters get 60 votes in the 100-member body, the confirmation vote will follow on Tuesday."

Update 4:23 pm: CNN confirms my report from 1 pm and says Ted Kennedy is supporting Kerry. The White House says they have 60 votes for cloture - but they also said Iraq had WMD's... and that Bush never met Jack. Go John Kerry!!!!!

Original post 1 pm: I have confirmed reports that Kerry wants to filibuster Alito, and he is talking to his colleagues to round up the 41 votes he needs.

Three Democrats (Ben Nelson, Tim Johnson and Robert Byrd) support Alito. So right now, without the support of any Republicans, we still have 42 possible votes for a filibuster.

There are 4 moderate Republicans who should be targeted (Lincoln Chafee, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Ted Stevens).

Three Democrats (Mary Landrieu, Ken Salazar, and Dianne Feinstein) oppose Alito but also said they oppose a filibuster. So we must persuade them that a vote against Alito is meaningless if they don't support a filibuster.

The best way to persuade them would be for the Democratic leadership (Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy, and Debby Stabenow) and the five Presidential candidates (John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, Joe Biden, and Evan Bayh) to form a Emergency Save the Constitution Committee and enlist the support of pro-choice, pro-freedom, and pro-democracy activists in Louisiana, Colorado, and California) to persuade their Senators to support a filibuster.

Email here and here.

Fax here.

More details soon, but keep calling the Alito 8!
http://democrats.com/alito-8

Here is part of the speech Kerry gave yesterday. Kerry is absolutely right that Bush's nomination of Alito was all about capitulating to the radical right after they shot down Harriet Miers. I love the part about Ann Coulter!!!

“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.’

Kerry also highlights the issue of presidential power dictatorship and the "unitary theory":

Judge Alito's hostility to individual rights is not limited to civil rights.  He consistently excuses government intrusions into personal privacy - regardless of how egregious or excessive they are.  In Doe v. Groody, for example, he dissented from an opinion written by then-Judge Michael Chertoff because he believed that the strip search of a 10-year old was 'reasonable.'  He also thought the government should not be held accountable for shooting an un-armed boy trying to escape with a stolen purse, nor for forcibly evicting farmers from their land in a civil bankruptcy proceeding without any show of resistance.

This pattern of deference to government power is reinforced by a speech he gave as a sitting judge to the Federalist Society just five years ago.

In his speech, Judge Alito 'preach[ed] the gospel' of the Reagan Administration's Justice Department: the theory of a unitary executive.  Though in the hearings, Judge Alito attempted to downplay the significance of this theory by saying it did not address the scope of the power of the executive branch but rather addressed the question of who controls the executive branch, don't be fooled.  The unitary executive theory has everything to do with the scope of executive power.

In fact, even Stephen Calabresi, one of the fathers of the theory, has stated that '[t]he practical consequence of this theory is dramatic: it renders unconstitutional independent agencies and counsels.'  This means that Congress would lose the power to protect public safety by creating agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission - which ensures the safety of products on the marketplace - and the Securities and Exchange Commission - which protects Americans from corporations like Enron - and the President would gain it.   

Carried to its logical end, the theory goes much further than invalidating independent agencies.  The Bush Administration has used it to justify both its illegal domestic spying program and its ability to torture detainees.  The Administration seems to view this theory as a blank check for executive overreaching.   

Judge Alito's endorsement of the unitary executive theory is not my only cause for concern.  In 1986, while working in the Justice Department, Judge Alito endorsed the idea that presidential 'signing statements' could be used to influence judicial interpretation of legislation.  His premise was that the President's understanding of legislation was as important as Congress' in determining legislative intent - startling when you consider that Congress is the legislative branch.   

President Bush has taken the practice of issuing signing statements to a new level.  Most recently, he used a signing statement to reserve the right to ignore the ban on torture that the Congress overwhelmingly passed.  He also used signing statement to attempt to apply the law restricting habeas corpus review of enemy combatants retroactively - despite our understanding in Congress that it would not affect cases pending before the Supreme Court at the time of passage.     

The implications of President Bush's signing statements are astounding: his Administration is reserving the right to ignore those laws it does not like.  Only one thing can hold the President accountable: the Supreme Court.  I am not convinced that will happen if Judge Alito is confirmed.   

Reigning in excessive government power matters more today than ever before as we work to find the balance between protecting our rights and our safety.  As Justice O'Connor said, the war on terror is not a blank slate for government action.  We can - and must - fight it in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

.

Comments

Salazar Says Will Not Support Filibuster

  • lmspenc's picture
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Rocky Mountain News Report -- Salazar will not support filibuster. Call him and get him to change his mind. Not supporting the filibuster is a default approval of this nominee.

Filibuster

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Bush & Co. are trying to transform the US government into a dictatorship. The least the Senate opposition can do is mount a filibuster against the confirmation of Alito to the SC.

Presently, the US public is not paying attention to the issues posed by Alito's pending confirmation. The only way to get the public's attention is by grabbing the media spotlight. A sustained filibuster is the only way to get the media spotlight. A filibuster is the only way to make the GOP pay politically for confiming Alito.

The Democrats have nothing to lose by filibustering Alito's confimation. Even if the filibuster fails, at least the American people are made aware of what's at stake. The Democrats owe it to the American people, and the entire world, to at least try.

Kerry, you do " have our backs".

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Kerry, you do " have our backs".

Thank you for all you do!

That is great news

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We just called Senator Kerry's office and thanked him and comfirmed that he is indeed trying to pull together a filibuster. Then we called Senator Harry Reid and Senator Bill Nelson's office and asked them to get on board. Let's keep the pressure on and get this thing done :)

call our Senators again and DEMAND A FILIBUSTER: TOLL FREE - 888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641

Proud member of the reality based community.

Bush has already filed 108 of those Alito-designed...

signing statements. With those, he supposedly do what he pleases about any passed bill. The legality of the signing statements has not to date gone to court. One more reason to deep-six Alito before the matter comes up.

With signing statements, who needs an expensive congress. The Emperor rules.

Report on the cavers

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

Just called many Dems and was told that Debbie Stabenow (Mi) would WAS NOT going to filibuster. Interesting. Many of these aides ask you for your zip code and dismiss you if you are from another state.
So here are a few: Pryor and Lincoln: Little Rock, 72202
Dover, Del. for Tom Carper and Biden: 19901
Wheeling West Va. for Sen. Byrd 26003
and here's a real interesting point by Sen. Landrieu's hacks:
They want your PHONE NO. and your zip code: 504 is the area code for New Orleans and 70119 is a zip code there.
At least her office is busy a lot.
Give her hell.

Sen. Clinton's direct phone no. is 202/224-4451. Sen. Chafee, you have to leave a voice mail for.
Sen. Susan Collins' direct phone no. is 202/224-2523.
So keep it up. I'm resting a few minutes and will go at it again in a short while. I"m calling those who caved and remind them of how it must feel to live in a totalitarian state, such as the one ALito will give us, thanks to the cowardice of a few such as our weak-spined Democrats.

Don't let them get away with that

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ploy next time. When they ask for your zip code and phone number tell them you are an online activist and it doesn't matter. Even though you can't vote for that politician, you sure can campaign against any of them, especially online. Tell them you are including them on your contact list as a concerned Democrat, and that it matters to you who the party supports financially. Tell them also, if it's true, that you are part of a very large group of disgruntled Democrats who favor throwing all DINO's overboard.

Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie, but rather mourn the apathetic throng, the coward, and the meek, who see the world's great anguish and its wrong, and dare not speak.
Ralph Chaplin

Great retort

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

I'm sending this to all my activist buddies who are disgusted with the provincialism of the senators' aides who are supposed to represent aLL of us.

hey guys I am in stabenows district, let me know what you think

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about this email, any suggestions would be helpful before I send it.

Dear Ms. Stabenow,

I am writing to let you know how deeply concerned I am regarding,the decision that yourself and other democrats have made to not support a filibuster in regard to Samuel Alito and his conformation to the Supreme Court. Not only is every American Citizen in danger of loosing their constitutional rights, but the checks and balances put in place by our founding fathers are in grave danger. How can you call yourself a democrat and not support this monumental stand for freedom? This is not about "party politics" it is about preserving the rights and freedoms that America has always cherished and what has set us apart from the rest of the world.
We are currently fighting for freedom and democracy in Iraq, but we find it dangerous and unpatriotic to stand and fight for our own freedom and democracy?
And please do not insult my intelligence by telling me that "Unitarian" simply means "only one person can be president at a time." Even the poorest of the poor can get access to a dictionary.
I urge you to support any democrat that wants to take a stand.

Sincerely,

Belinda Root

Great letter Belinda.

Great letter Belinda.

thanks Bill, just sent my email

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I have to go to work now, but will check in later.

Call Ed Schulz who is IN north Dakota

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

Let Ed know on www.airamericaradio.com just how horrendous it is to have 3 senators from the Dakotas who are going to vote AGAINST the filibuster unless they change their minds, or reconsider the horrible cost to our country.

Oh, yes, the zip code for Harry Reid is 89503.
For Stanford, Ct. if you call Lieberman is 06901

Ed Shultz Show

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Ed Shultz is not carried on Air America Radio. He is carried by the Jones Radio Network.
See his website for streaming info. www.wegoted.com

e-mail contact: ed@edshultzshow.com

Call in: 1-877-934-6833

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, is our guest to talk about Bush's lack of support for New Orleans hurricane plan.

Rep. George Miller, D-CA, joins the show to discuss the Bush cuts to Higher Education.

So lie, then?

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These aids ask for our home numbers and zip codes for a reason. They represent the people in their states, not just us net activists. Is lying the right thing to do here?

Spoken like a true

Spoken like a true "Independent." US Senators, once elected, represent ALL Americans, from ALL Parties, and have sworn to uphold the Constitution.

Which part of this arrangement do you not understand?

Re-read what was said above

  • Jim's picture
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Re-read what was said above and you will see that nobody said anyone should lie. Nice try though.

The only one who lied here is you, by putting Independent in your profile.

Of course a Senator needs to know when someone in his/her State is calling them. They also need to know how all Americans feel when they are acting on National matters.

I've never been asked by

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I've never been asked by home phone or zip code when I call Senators offices. I have sent many emails to Senators on certain committees with no problems at all. The only problem I have ever had reaching an elected official is a House member. I couldn't send an email to John Conyers because I didn't know the zip codes in his area.

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security

like it's some kind of federal program."

- George W. Bush in a debate in St. Charles, Mo., Nov. 2, 2000

It Won't Happen

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The votes aren't there.

Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota will vote for Alito. He joins a second democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska who says they will vote for Alito.

This was kind of funny but

  • Jim's picture
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This was kind of funny but it's getting old.

Do you understand how influence works?

And John Kerry leading

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And John Kerry leading anything? Please, Kerry couldn't lead a donkey to water, much less convince anybody to support a filibuster.

So what happens in 2057 A.D.

  • Jim's picture
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So what happens in 2057 A.D. ?

Also, do you think you get credit for guessing the final number of planets found?

I am not looking to Kerry right now. I am looking to you. Get it?

Respectfully...

bite my butt.

I mean that in the nicest kind of way.

We're trying to get something going here. Step up to the plate or get out of the way.

Opinions expressed on this site are the sole intellectual property of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of other administrators, bloggers, moderators, or members of democrats.com.

Byrd Adds Support

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Up to 3 now. West Virginia Senator Byrd has announced that he will vote for Alito.

Another resource

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Great coverage of the Alito 8. I'm busting my butt to stay up to date with the vote- and cloture-counts on VichyDems. I'd appreciate any help posting breaking news there, because that's then getting to Atrios and some others. And I'll keep monitoring and updating here.

There's current info about DiFi, Clinton, Reid, et al there.

Let's keep the pressure on, and help Kerry!

Why sould Sen. Byrd be such a dunce?

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

Byrd is a constituionalist. Why in the world would he go along with this?

anti-choice socially conservative

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constituents.

Why can't they at least Make a STAND EVEN if THEY Lose?

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

I don't understand how these stupid Dems could think that it's bad to stand up for a principle, even when you know you'll lose.
We teach our kids to be true to their principles, why can't we demand it of our elected representatives?

Why Does Bush keep lying about his rights about spying on us, and why why don't the Dems hold him accountable?

Filibuster

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Bush & Co. are trying to transform the US government into a dictatorship. The least the Senate opposition can do is mount a filibuster against the confirmation of Alito to the SC.

Presently, the US public is not paying attention to the issues posed by Alito's pending confirmation. The only way to get the public's attention is by grabbing the media spotlight. A sustained filibuster is the only way to get the media spotlight. A filibuster is the only way to make the GOP pay politically for confiming Alito.

The Democrats have nothing to lose by filibustering Alito's confimation. Even if the filibuster fails, at least the American people are made aware of what's at stake. The Democrats owe it to the American people, and the entire world, to at least try.

Democrats beat the first

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Democrats beat the first nuclear showdown. Democrats beat the privatizing of Social Security. Democrats need to beat this back too.

Is the number counter at the top of the forum correct? Over 7,700 reads since being created today at 1pm? Damn, something is going on.

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security

like it's some kind of federal program."

- George W. Bush in a debate in St. Charles, Mo., Nov. 2, 2000

Game Plan for Calling Tomorrow

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I've used a lot of the info posted here, plus over at Atrios, plus what I've been able to learn by calling different Senators' offices, to come up with a summary of the status of everyone's votes, position on filibuster, etc., and a game plan for who to contact. It's at www.vichydems.blogspot.com.

Hope it helps.

Let me know (comments there, please) if I got anything wrong or if anything changes.

Good work today, folks. I get the sense that a lot of activists are making a lot of difference.

BuzzFlash Has Heard a Rumor that Obama is Opposing

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BuzzFlash Has Heard a Rumor that Senator Barack Obama Has Been Opposing a Filibuster of Alito Inside the Democratic Caucus

We hope this isn't true, but BuzzFlash has been told by a knowledgeable source that Senator Barack Obama is opposing a filibuster of Alito during the debate raging within the Democratic Senate Caucus. The implication is that he is against such a filibuster on "strategic grounds."

http://www.buzzflash.com/index.php?story=Story

Joe Biden says no

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What a joke Joe Biden says he does not support a filibuster.

Is anyone surprised?

WTF

  • Jim's picture
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Is that confirmed?

Biden says no

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according to the cnn news site he has said no.

Im sorry it was cbs who reported it.

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Democratic senator who plans to vote against Alito's confirmation, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware, said Friday that prospects for a successful filibuster were dim and he doesn't support the idea.

"A filibuster, I think, is not likely to occur," Biden told CBS' "The Early Show." "But who knows, one man can generate a filibuster."

Thanks for the update.

  • Jim's picture
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Thanks for the update. I think.

Isn't it entirely possible..

  • Mo's picture
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that these guys are trying to save political face by going on the record as saying a filibuster 'isn't a good idea' -

yet if enough Dems stand up for it, they would join?

If so, our best bet is to stay on the Senators we know are most sympathetic.

Mo

You make a good point.

  • Jim's picture
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Maybe we need to make it clear that:

-we will actively go after any Dem who acts like a Republican

and

-simply withhold support from any Dem who gives a lackluster performance like the one you note.

Being Clear about NOT Supporting Republican-Lites aka ALito Dems

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

Thanks to all y'all for giving some of us rage-filled Dems 'scripts' that will help us be more rational when contacting these spineless Dem assholes.
It helps us to clean up our language, and fuels our determination to get a bunch of these indigent indulgent Dems out of office.

Sen. Durbin is Caving In????

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

OK, if Steph Miller is right, then we have another weak-kneed Democrat, giving in to the good 'ol boy fantasy bubble that "It will do no good to filibuster." BS!!!
I don't understand why profanity expressing rage at Exponentially More Profane actions by Repulsicans and Bought Dems should be censored, while the acts themselves aren't even proscecuted.??????
I"m writing Durbin now...a very civil note.

My Letter to Dick Durbin

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'This delicate experiment called 'democracy' is doomed to failure without an educated electorate.'  deTocqueville

Dear Dick,
I have listened to you make wonderful speeches about the need to be courageous and fight against the lies of the corrupt Bush administration. That is why I find a rumor troublesome: that rumor is that you don't think it will do any good to filibuster Alito. Let me assure you, as I hope you know, that Democrats need to be firm and united against this king-maker, Alito. EVEN IF YOU LOSE, that fact that you're trying to prevent a most certain move into despotism by this sociopathic president and his amoral handlers, will leave your name in the History books. Of course, if Bush continues his Emperor-who-is-naked fantasy reign, there may be only cockroaches to read those history books left.

Please strengthen your backbone. The bubble of fantasy that you and your fellow Congressmen live in, may give you a wierd perspective on reality. Out here in the real world, the U.S> Constitution is the only thing that makes our republic the greatest nation in the world. Without it, we are vulnerable to any liar who has the power to co-opt our election machinery (as the people of Ohio and Florida know well).
Look ahead and realize this liar, Alito is pledged to hand over absolute power to this madman with his finger on the red button of species destruction. (Remember 'Dr. Strangelove'? Remember '1984'?. We're there.) Filibuster against his approval.
I remember and respect the 133 who voted AGAINST giving over the Congressional responsibility to declare war to this alcoholic murderer who serves as the facade for the true rule of Cheney-Halliburton/Rumsfeld-CEO of snake oil medicine Tamiflu company/trash-mail mogul Rove.
I dearly hope this rumor isn't true. Stand tall and true. We depend upon you.

Senator Barbara Boxer

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Senator Boxer WILL support the filibuster according to her SanFrancisco staff.

From Kerry

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Just in case any of you didn't get this:

Dear Diana,

Yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy and I told our colleagues that we supported a filibuster of Judge Alito's nomination for the Supreme Court. And we weren't alone. But the bottom line is that it takes more than two or three people to filibuster successfully. It's not "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." If you want to stop Judge Alito from becoming Justice Alito, use your own email list and organize. We can't just preach to our own choir. We need to prove to everyone - from our friends and neighbors to our fellow Senators - that the American people know Judge Alito will take our country in the wrong direction, and they expect something to be done about it.

So I'm asking you to join Senator Kennedy, me, and concerned citizens across America who are signing this petition to support a filibuster. If there was ever a time to forward an email on to friends and family, this is it. One way or another, we're going to find out in the next few days if Judge Alito is going to become Justice Alito. You know where I stand. The time to make your voice heard is now. So please sign this filibuster petition and get as many friends as you can to do the same.

Sign the filibuster petition

If Judge Alito gets on the Supreme Court, it will be an incredible mistake for America. And remember, this is one mistake that we can never take back.

I voted against Justice Roberts, but I feel even more strongly about Judge Alito. Why? Rather than live up to the promise of "equal justice under the law," he has consistently made it harder for the most disadvantaged Americans to have their day in court. He routinely defers to excessive government power no matter how much government abuses that power. And, to this date, his only statement on record regarding a woman's right to privacy is that she doesn't have one.

There isn't a shred of doubt in my opposition to Judge Alito's nomination. I spent a lot of time over the last few years thinking about what kind of person deserves to sit on the highest court in the land, so I don't hesitate a minute in saying that Judge Alito is not that person. His entire legal career shows that, if confirmed, he will take America backward. People can say all they want that "elections have consequences." Trust me, I understand. But that doesn't mean we have to stay silent about Judge Alito's nomination.

Sign the filibuster petition

President Bush had the opportunity to nominate someone who would unite the country in a time of extreme division. He chose not to do this, and that is his right. But we have every right -- in fact, we have a responsibility -- to fight against a radical ideological shift on the Supreme Court. This nomination was a sellout to the demands of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. The president gave no thought to what the American people really wanted - or needed. So now that the president and Judge Alito have proven they won't stand up for the majority of Americans, we have to stand up. We have to speak out. That's the true meaning of "advice and consent."

Sincerely,

John Kerry

Proud member of the reality based community.

Sens Kerry and Dayton

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Dayton was on the floor a few mins ago and gave a speech that would have given him an unlimited, life time membership to this site.

Kerry has flown back for the EU and is on the floor now working hard for us. He is really speaking out...I know finally, but he is there now. He is presently speaking to those faint-hearted dems in the senate :)

Proud member of the reality based community.