RobbDogg's Rips

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Call To Action: Ted Kennedy Wants To Hear From You!

With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement, Ted Kennedy is looking to hear stories from us on why we need to have our rights protected. Confused? Don't be.

Please read the following email for further information on why we need to make the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice an issue to unite Americans and not further divide them...

Dear Robbie,

With the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the President faces a choice - further divide the country by succumbing to the pressure of his allies on the right, or unite the country by working with both parties in the Senate to appoint a consensus nominee, as Justice O'Connor was when President Reagan nominated her.

We know the American people want this county to move forward, not backward, in terms of protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms that make our country great. Because the Supreme Court is often the last line of defense against infringement on those rights, we need a Supreme Court Justice who is fair and independent, not ideological and partisan.
Sandra Day O'Connor leaves a legacy all Americans can be proud of.

Because of Sandra Day O'Connor, the disabled are guaranteed access to our public courts, and no one who uses a wheelchair will have to crawl up stairs to reach a courtroom the way a plaintiff did in Tennessee. Teachers can't be fired for opposing discrimination against girls in our public schools. Patients can get a second opinion when an HMO tries to deny them care. Our water is cleaner, because citizens can stop polluters who dump toxins into our waterways.

Each of us has a stake in protecting these rights and I want every one of us to be part of this discussion about how to protect them and who is best able to do so as a Supreme Court Justice.
This is not an inside-the-beltway battle - it is important to every American in every community in the country. We need to hear your own stories about why your rights are so important to you:

It is clear that the framers of the Constitution believed that the President should meaningfully consult the Senate before making the nomination, and the American people agree.

President Bush met this morning with the leaders of the Senate and the Judiciary Committee, and I'm sure we all have the same questions.Was this really the first step in a serious consultation process that will be meaningful and will continue in the days and weeks ahead? Will the process result in an effort to select nominees who can bring the nation and the Senate together, instead of further dividing us?

I believe, and sincerely hope, that the answer to these questions is "yes." I hope we are not just going through the motions.

True consultation is not a one-sided conversation. The nation wants and needs us to proceed in good faith and with open minds. The conditions are right for serious cooperation between the Senate and the President, whom the framers of the Constitution made jointly responsible for assuring the quality and independence of the federal judiciary.

President Bush has won a second term and does not have to run again. He is freer to carry out his desire to be a uniter, not a divider, despite the pleas from the fringes of the party he leads. Today's meeting was a good first step in terms of uniting the country, but consensus is about an outcome, not just a process. I've been through 20 Supreme Court nominations, and meaningful consultation could not be more important in choosing a justice who will protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans.

White House officials have made ample time to meet with their right-wing allies bent on nominating a judge driven by right-wing ideology. They have put an $18 million war chest to defend that nominee in the media and across the country. Their advice to the President is clear--they will go all out to support any right-wing judge he nominates for the High Court, and they will be very unhappy if he chooses a consensus nominee instead.

This is not the "advice and consent" the framers of the Constitution intended. We cannot let the views of an extreme segment of America dominate the process of nominating and confirming the next justice of the highest court in the land.

This debate cannot simply be a discussion between President Bush and his right-wing allies. We all need you need to speak up - and ensure the many voices of as many Americans as possible are heard:

The decisions of the Supreme Court profoundly affects us all. Our ability to speak freely and worship in our faiths, the opportunity to succeed regardless of our race or gender, and our basic right to privacy, -these are just some of the vital rights that the Court can protect or deny.

At, we number over one hundred thousand strong - and we can affect the debate about the Supreme Court over the coming weeks. Your statements will explain why the progress we have made is so important to you or someone you know.

This is not simply about online action. It is about making it clear in this debate about what these rights mean to Americans:

Hearing from you and many more Americans in their own words will be the way our community will join this debate. Each story will be a powerful reminder that a Supreme Court nomination must not create partisan division or be used to advance a narrow ideology. It is far more serious than any such consideration.

Thank you for lending your story to help keep this debate steadily grounded in the rights and issues that affect us all.


Senator Edward M. Kennedy


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