Wednesday we learned that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Donald Trump may get to appoint another justice, replacing a moderate with someone from the far right. That will change the Court for a lifetime.
BUT -- We can stop it.
It will be hard fought, it will be difficult, it will be suspenseful, but we, you and I and every justice-seeking person in the country, we can stop it. There aren't that many US political problems that happen in the short term, that are very specific, that have a very clear outcome, that have far reaching impact, that we can influence. This is one.
We can do something. We can block a Trump nominee.
How will we block the nominee? Call Senator Tester. Call every office. Call every week. Write postcards. Tell him to vote NO on any extremist, anti-choice nominee.
Second, confirmation takes a simple majority of votes (lately, 50 plus the VP’s vote due to a tie). But the Senate has changed. Alabama now has one Democratic Senator. Democrats have 49 votes and the Republicans have 51. Sen. John McCain is home in Arizona for health reasons, and won’t be voting, so the Republicans really only have 50 votes. By simple arithmetic, all we need to block a nomination is one Republican vote (or lack of vote).
So how do we do that? Easy. Do you have friends and family in Alaska, Maine, Arizona? Reach out the them personally and ask them to make calls to their Senators. Ask those Senators to reject an anti-choice extremist nominee. Ask those Senators not to be the vote that overturns Roe v. Wade. You can also reach out directly to voters in Alaska, Maine, and Arizona. Join Postcards for America, or sign up for virtual phone banks.
The Republicans we can persuade are Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
We can persuade Collins and Murkowski because neither of them wants to be the deciding vote that end up killing abortion rights.
Trump pledged to nominate only judges who promise to overturn Roe v Wade. This is important because many states left their old anti-abortion laws on the books. Others have trigger laws that would go into effect automatically if Roe is overturned. In all, 33 of 50 states are poised to immediately cut off access to abortion.
Collins & Murkowski, while voting to put various restrictions on access to abortion, have both recently voted no on 20 week bans. We can take that to mean that neither wants to completely cut off access to abortion. They might not want to be the deciding vote that overturns Roe. They can do that voting no.
We can persuade Jeff Flake because he may be ready to say NO to Trump. Flake has been voicing more and more disagreement with Trump. Jeff Flake is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he could decline to pass a nominee out to the full Senate for a vote. He could possibly still be persuaded to reject an extremist nominee.
We can do this.
It’s a four month sprint, and we need an immediate rush for the next 30 days. Every single Democrat has to pledge to vote no on a nominee that would vote to overturn Roe. We need at least one, and preferably more, Republicans to also vote no. Finally, we need to take control of the House and Senate in January, and we can do that by making sure Senator Tester is re-elected and Kathleen Williams beats Gianforte in November.
This is a big deal.
The Democrats have a decision to make. So do you. Don’t be a doormat.
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