We begin with the action page links. Please submit them both, or if you like read on first

http://www.nocrony.com (No right wing conservative to replace Sandra Day O'Connor)


http://www.millionphonemarch.com/habeas.htm (Restore Habeas Corpus)

If the election results of this last week are any indicators, the American people are beginning to speak out in a way that has gotten the attention of Congress. For the last year we at the The People's Email Network have been preaching the power of the people speaking out. For those perpetual defeatists who have said that "they" (the Republicans because they were too controlled, and the Democrats because they were too spineless) would never listen to us, it is a wonder what a couple of election losses can do. This week we saw the breathtaking collapse of the majority cruelty budget with its agenda of budget cuts for the poor to finance additional tax cuts for the wealthy, and the conversion of the ANWR giveaway to the windfall profit pocketing oil companies into a virtual third rail. Our own participants generated 12,000 submissions opposing the latter. If only the people will speak out, they will be heard, and only if we are vigilant and CONTINUE to do so.

We are now at a critical crossroads in American judicial history. The Alito nomination represents a tipping point of disaster that the right wing has been spent 20 years working for. The only reason we are even approaching this looming crisis now has been the abject cowardice of those who are supposed to be protecting our rights (abetted by the failure of enough of us to speak out before), in waving through so many objectionable right-wing philosophical cronies without much more than a whimper of protest. All they need is one more John Roberts' style con job and we stand to lose our entire court system as a check and balance on the power of a president to impose corporate rule on every aspect of our lives. We have barely two months to build the people's consensus that will be needed to stop them and every day is increasingly precious.

It really is a very simple formula. If we all speak out to our members of Congress, one of two things MUST happen. Either 1) they will heed our voices and bend to the will of the people, and we win, or else 2) they further increase the motivation of those of us who are speaking out by ignoring us, in which case we have mobilized the base to vote them out of office next time, so again we win. The ONLY way we can lose is if not enough of us speak out. We created our one click resource so that you can send your personal message to all your members of Congress at once, and you can also make it a Letter to the Editor of your nearest daily newspaper, all at the same time. But most of all on this we need to have a unified message. We have proposed the following:


Please note that it is NOT enough to just oppose Alito on some particular statement or ruling. When Karl Rove climbed out from under his rock the other night to get a standing ovation (for getting away so far with outing a CIA agent?) from the Federalist society convention, he gloated about how they had already packed the courts with 200 of their ideological cronies. As they say in baseball, their bench is very deep, and it is not sufficient to bat away one, only to lay down for the next. They have their mantra and they have a corrupt corporate media to push it relentlessly. Their talking points are "Strict constructionist" and "It's a done deal" and "He deserves and up-or-down vote" and "Conservatives are the mainstream," despicable lies each and every one. And any one of us who dares let those words pass our lips in approval or resignation needs to have their mind washed out with soap.

Instead we must propagate our own concept and use every media resource in our power (especially the internet and progressive radio) to purge the propaganda of the other side. If you have a better idea as to what that theme should be, we would like to hear from you IMMEDIATELY so that everyone can be on the same page. But whatever it is we need to settle on it quick, fast and in a hurry, before the situation is allowed to drift any further to the right. So again, the key idea is that the most objectionable thing about Alito is that he is conservative at all, and in so being entirely out of step with what the American people are demanding from their elected representatives now. Some think he would be worse that Roberts. But regardless which one would win the reactionary potato sack race, we can ill afford yet one more.

http://www.nocrony.com (No right wing conservative to replace Sandra Day O'Connor)

The first and biggest lie of all is that there is any such thing as a "strict constructionist," meaning the only role of the courts is to apply the laws that Congress passes in terms of some frozen idea of the intent of the framers of our Constitution. Historically, there have been some very bad laws passed (including a fast one from just the other day we will address in a moment), and it has been the duty of our courts to step in and apply the ultimate doctrine of all law, what is known as "equity." The word appears prominently in the Constitution specifically in defining "The judicial Power of the United States . . . in Equity." From the earliest times in our legal traditions there were separate Courts of Equity set up to dispense justice and to arrive at a fair result even without a controlling law. It has ALWAYS been the place of the courts to correct what is clearly wrong and twisted and contorted, whether given explicit guidelines on how to do it by law and precedent or not. That is exactly what the framers meant in the Ninth amendment to the Constitution when they said:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"

For example, suppose there were no laws against pollution and someone is dumping arsenic into a stream feeding your medieval pond in ages past and all your fish die. You go to the king's Court of Equity and you ask them to intercede, and hopefully they look at the case (assuming they are not ignorant of the poisonous effects of arsenic) and order the polluter to stop what he is doing. But the "strict contortionist" would say that there is no such law and that the arsenic dumper is just exercising his own "liberty" in doing so. We would all agree that is the wrong result. And yet corporate ideologues on the benches of our courts are making such decisions in favor of industrial polluters right now in defiance of the laws that we DO have, and none of their reactionary supporters are accusing them of any kind of so-called judicial activism in that regard. Remember, NOT acting is itself also a form of activism, and activism itself is only in the eye of the one being ruled against.

But even the Constitution itself may be no protection where, as just the other day with little advance notice, the Republican majority in the Senate approved an amendment to the Defense Appropriation bill forever denying the detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere the right to challenge the legality of their detention by habeas corpus. Leaving aside the thorny problem of whether the courts could correct a law removing their own jurisdiction, the "strict contortionist" would say that Congress can pass any damn law they please (assuming it's one they agree with) even if it's contrary to the Constitution, and the courts should just fall in line (unless they should not).

The 14th Amendment, AFTER speaking of the rights of citizenship, goes on to say that no "person" shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without the due and equal process of the law. Article III makes it perfect plain that the judicial power of the courts extends to foreign nationals where the U.S. is a party. The motto emblazoned on the Supreme Court does not say "Equal Justice Under The Law for Americans Only." The "strict contortionist" is always babbling about judges who "legislate from the bench." And yet here the Congress is attempting to do an uninvited end run around an express ruling of the Supreme Court and in violation of the heart of the Constitution. Are you hearing anybody accuse them of "adjudicating from the legislature?" Maybe you just did.

McCain, who at least got the torture amendment right, in defense of his own vote to scuttle habeas corpus for those in Guantanamo said that we can't have them petitioning to complain about the food allowed. Well, gee, maybe they don't like being in lemon chicken hell with two kinds of fruit (just for staged photo ops) to be imprisoned indefinitely without charges. A spokesperson for the so-called moderate Senator Snowe asked "Do we need all those lawyers going down there to hear their complaints?" One can only wonder how much McCain would have appreciated it if a lawyer had turned up in his defense when he was being tortured himself in North Vietnam. But the "strict contortionist" would say that we can make up a subclass of humans called "enemy combatants," with the president king the sole arbiter of who should be so degraded.

Patrick Fitzgerald was perfectly able to convict terrorists in the cases he handled. Moussaoui, a real terrorist, chose to plead guilty when confronted with the evidence against him. Do we need lawyers going down there? You bet we do, and the more the better, to show the world that everyone in the United States of America gets a fair trial, even if you are an accused terrorist. The problem is the real reason they may be so afraid of letting these people into our courts is they are still trying the cover up the torture which has already taken place in our names. If the detainees are guilty of something let them be tried in open court in the glorious splendor of our freedom. For Congress to presume to pass anything to abort that is a stench in the nostrils of our own democracy.

http://www.millionphonemarch.com/habeas.htm (Restore Habeas Corpus)

We are a nation of laws, not of men. But it is still up to our Supreme Court to correct the law when it strays too far from the mean of true justice (equity), to be then applied equally to all. It is THAT which has made the United States the greatest country in the world, a legal system the envy of the world's citizenry. And that is what is threatened most by these patently biased nominees. The amount of damage they can do in the lower courts is thankfully limited by the overriding balance of hopefully the prudent reason in the Supreme Court, which is precisely what they have schemed these many years to tilt. Some say the Muslim extremists want to go back to the 13th century. The "strict contortionist" wants to go back to the 10th, a time when the judiciary turned a deaf ear and a cold heart to anyone who was not rich, or could not stand to hold a burning hot poker in their hand without screaming.

These nominees are being hand picked not for their fairness, but for their willingness to tow the corporate crony line, to defer to the president dictator, and in some specious way attempt to make it sound perfectly reasonable. Sure, Alito has some very offensive opinions on the record as an appellate judge, but were he unwisely be allowed to ascend to the Supreme Court he would no longer be bound by the controlling letter of higher precedent, and only by his own "respect" for that precedent. And we are very sure he would say he still respects Roe v. Wade very much in the morning after he casts the deciding vote to overturn this case he so clearly believes was wrongly decided.

In short, just like Roberts, Alito will don the sheep's clothing of not being one of those mean old nasty "activist" judges only long enough to try to sneak past his confirmation hearing . . . again. In fact, they can recycle the outfit Roberts used since he himself no longer has any need of it. To get on the appellate bench, Alito promised that he would recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard, where he had extensive holdings. Yet he broke that promise the first chance he got, until someone called him on it, and did it again in another parallel case. The "strict contortionist" would say (and Alito in fact did say) that he was being "unduly restrictive" in his initial sworn representation to the Senate. And we can expect he will say he was also being unduly restrictive in promising restraint when the stampede of precedent reversals begins for which the mouths of the right wing have watered for so long.

At its best and brightest moments our Supreme Court has been a bulwark against injustice not otherwise struck down. The real danger is in allowing a clearly ideological extremist to be unleashed in yet another seat on our highest court, to be then only restrained by a sense of fairness they have demonstrated they do not possess. The most unpopular second term president in American history would not have freely nominated anyone who would not give his most reactionary supporters every decision they could have predetermined themselves. The only objections you hear coming from the right wing are concerns that Alito might not be sufficiently and manifestly in their pockets, their basis for demanding the withdrawal of the crony Miers, who you should know was also introduced for enthusiastic applause by Rove at the Federalist soiree.

Alito must be rejected, and each and every other subsequent candidate of this federalist gang, by filibuster if that is what it takes, until the people get what they deserve and will demand, no worse than a true moderate centrist as a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor. To win we must do much more than nitpick this or that case or whatever. This goes far beyond opinions to effectively immunize employers from race discrimination cases or to strip search 10 year old girls or whether Alito dishonored his promise to recuse himself. We must put our foot down as the true majority of the American people to say that NO conservative whatsoever is acceptable for this seat. We need every voice out there on our side to repeat that essential position every day for the next two months.

And for that to happen we the people need to speak out with our own voices now and send a personal message on what YOU have to say to your Senate.

Informant: Scott Munson


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November 2005

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