Friday, January 13, 2006

Filibustering Alito

I have sent this message to my senators:

Senator Boxer,

It is essential that Samuel Alito’s nomination be filibustered, and that you must support that filibuster. Indeed, I believe the oath you took to uphold the Constitution requires it. There are many reasons why Judge Alito should not be promoted, but I will focus on three:

1) If you believe that there is a right to privacy, and a right to bodily integrity including the right to abortion, you must oppose the nomination of a man who will wrongly take those rights away. If you are not there to protect the rights of Americans, what are you there for?

2) Judge Alito’s advocacy of the false theory of a “unitary executive,” not only verbally but in his record as a judge and in the Reagan White House, would undermine the constitutional system of checks and balances and separation of powers that protects us from an overweening, even dictatorial executive branch. If you are not there to protect Americans from tyranny, what are you there for?

3) Judge Alito’s pattern of evasion, contradiction and outright dishonesty makes many of his answers suspect, and from a constitutional standpoint make a mockery of the advice and consent role of the Senate. If you will not stand up for the prerogatives of Congress and its proper role as a co-equal branch of government, what will you stand up for?

If it were only a matter of disagreeing with Judge Alito’s judicial philosophy and worrying about how he would vote in individual cases, I might ask you for a no vote but not a filibuster. But I believe he represents such a threat to individual rights and to the constitutional order that I do not hesitate to call a filibuster your duty. Thank you for your attention.

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