It’s Already Started -The Battle For The Court Has Been Joined

Well, within minutes of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announcing her resignation from the Supreme Court, has sent out the following email to its millions of members:

Dear MoveOn member,

Early this morning Sandra Day O’Connor stepped down from the Supreme Court, leaving the first open seat in more than 10 years. As a moderate Justice, she helped protect our rights for decades. With Bush likely to nominate a replacement in a matter of hours or days, our most basic rights and freedoms are suddenly very much up for grabs.

This is the time to act.

Its rumored that Bush will nominate a replacement as quickly as this Tuesday. In the next few days Bush, the Senate and the media will all be will be listening very carefully—gauging the public reaction to this vacancy and deciding how far they can go.

That’s why we’ve launched an emergency petition calling on our Senators to do what it takes in the crucial weeks ahead to protect our rights. We’re aiming to deliver 250,000 signatures and comments by Tuesday. Please add your voice today:

From the Patriot Act to the Terri Schiavo tragedy, in the last four years the Republican leadership has exploited every opportunity to attack the basic American right to keep our private choices private, and to make personal decisions without government intrusion.

This vacancy could represent the biggest threat yet.

The only clear indication from Bush about who he might nominate is that he intends to follow the example of his two “model” judges—Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.(1) These two have weighed in from the far-right fringe for decades, and another judge in their mold could shift the balance on the Court significantly.

Below are just a few examples of landmark cases where Scalia or Thomas voted against O’Connor to try to strike down core rights and freedoms. In many cases if they had one more vote they would have succeeded.(2)

Worker’s Rights: Nevada Dep’t of Human Resources v. Hibbs, which protected the right of workers to care for newborn children or gravely ill family members.

Women’s Rights: United States v. Virginia, which allowed women to attend all publicly funded schools. (C’Connor was not on the Court at the time of Roe v. Wade, but has opposed Scalia and Thomas on reproductive freedom issues in such landmark cases as Planned Parenthood v. Casey)

Church and State: Locke v. Davey, which ensured that states could not be required to fund religious training.

Envrionmental Rights: Friends of the Earth , Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (TOC), Inc., which protected citizens’ rights under the Clean Water Act to sue against the illegal dumping of mercury and other toxins.

Civil Rights: * Dickerson v. U.S., which upheld the “Miranda” guarantee that people accused of crimes are read their rights. * United States v. Fordice, which protected the rights of those still suffering from the effects of state-enforced racial segregation. * Grutter v Bollinger, affirmed the right of state colleges and universities to use affirmative action in their admissions policies.

Civil Liberties:Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, which blocked the government from indefinitely detaining American citizens without charges, an attorney, or any basic rights.

On Capitol Hill, today’s resignation unleashed a swarm of right-wing fringe groups and corporate lobbyists pushing for a nominee who will favor narrow prejudice and greed over the rights of the American people.

If we can deliver 250,000 signatrures and comments by Tuesday, we can make sure the voice of ordinary Americans can compete with this swarm and tell our senators to stand up for our rights.

Please sign today.

Thanks for all that you do.

Ben, Joan, Justin, Eli and the MoveOn PAC Team
Friday, July 1st, 2005

P.S. As soon as we heard about the resignation, we put an ad on the air calling for Bush and the Senate to protect our rights and not nominate an extremist. You can check it out at:

If you like it, help us keep it on the air by donating at:

1 NBC’s Meet the Press, November 21, 1999
2 Case history courtesy of People for the American Way—

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

We have to be prepared for major character attacks on any conservative nominees. The main concern of liberals is going be abortion. They will attack and filibuster any nominee of the President who is not in favor of abortion.

There will be a brutal confirmation battle regardless of who is nominated and the qualifications of the particular nominee will be largely beside the point. Since the battle is going to be engaged no matter who the nominee is, the Bush Administration should simply nominate the best person they want, and not be tricked into thinking that they can avoid a battle by nominating someone more “moderate.”

6 thoughts on “It’s Already Started -The Battle For The Court Has Been Joined

  1. That’s Bullshit.. we don’t even know who is nominated yet.. Talking about putting the cart before the horse!!! He might nominate a liberal.. GET REAL


  2. >>…in the last four years the Republican leadership has exploited every opportunity to attack the basic American right to keep our private choices private, and to make personal decisions without government intrusion.>>I love when they make it this easy for us as I think they meant to say Social Security.


  3. Given the current declining popularity of the Bush way of doing things, I’d say a big fight over an activist judge is the thing Bush wants to avoid. Polls suggest that the public is generally dissatisfied with the Republican unilateral way of doing politics, and they’re something like 70-30 against overturning Roe v. Wade.I would be surprised, but not very much, if Bush does a “surprise” nomination of a pro-choice conservative. (Though I’d prefer a pro-life liberal, a somewhat rarer breed.)


  4. Great job. I have a post about this too. Hope you have a happy 4th.Keep Caroll, from American Housewife in your prayers. Her husband just passed away. Come over to my site to see how you can help her out.


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