Wednesday, April 13, 2005

AHA Action Alert on the Nuclear Option

The American Humanist Association has issued an action alert on the Nuclear Option:
Nuclear Option Puts Civil Rights, Religious Liberty, and Reproductive Freedom in Jeopardy

Tell your Senators you oppose the Nuclear Option, a reckless and unnecessary measure.

Led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, conservative Republican senators are planning an unprecedented abuse of power that would allow a simple Senate majority to approve the lifetime appointments of ultraconservative judicial nominees, including those nominated for the Supreme Court. This maneuver, dubbed the Nuclear Option, will change Senate rules that require a supermajority (60 votes) to break a filibuster. In the past, both Democrat and Republican minority Senates have used the filibuster as a safeguard against the unbridled tyranny of the majority.

Changing Senate rules to bar extended debate on judicial nominees will set a dangerous precedent and have a negative impact on American freedom. Such a step could lead to further limits on open debate and directly jeopardize religious liberty, women's rights, scientific research, and freedom of speech.

The filibuster helps maintain the system of checks and balances put in place by the framers of the Constitution. What's really driving this attempt to rewrite the rules is an effort to seize control over the process before a Supreme Court resignation occurs. Without the safeguard of a filibuster, an ultraconservative Supreme Court could arise, overturning scores of decisions affecting civil rights and individual liberties.

Instead of trying to jam unqualified, extreme judges through the Senate, President Bush ought to nominate moderate judges who can attract broad bipartisan support.

Help keep the integrity of our three branches of government and your American freedom intact by keeping extended debate in the Senate intact.


Call or write your Senator, whether Republican or Democrat, and let them know that you oppose the Nuclear Option, an unprecedented abuse of power. You can call 202-224-3121 and ask for your own Senator. The Senate website also lists the direct office lines and e-mail addresses for every Senator. Make sure Humanist voices are heard!


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