Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alito: no

My letter:

Dear Senator Warner,

Please oppose the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

This country is nearing a constitutional crisis over the separation of powers. Few Americans are as personally involved in and deeply aware of this as you. Two weeks ago you were obliged to stand with Sen. McCain to respond to the President's claim, in a signing statement of the defense bills, that he could waive the anti-torture provisions of the act should he find it necessary.

I was heartened to see such an immediate and direct response from you and Sen. McCain, committing to the oversight so vital to our system of government. But it troubled me that such a declaration would even be needed. It also struck me that the two of you are among a very small group of senior Senators in your party who have shown any ability to stand up to the administration.

So it troubled me even more to consider that you would soon be asked to approve the lifetime appointment to what should be another independent branch of government of a judge who has supported for decades a radical view of sweeping executive power, the so-called 'unitary executive'. (To add salt to the wound, Judge Alito is also the originator of the dubious practice of treating presidential signing statements as part of the background to be used by courts in interpretating legislation.)

This is an issue that cuts across partisan lines, or should. It's one thing for Supreme Court justices to overturn particular settled policies: those policies will return to state legislatures and Congress, where constituents and lobbies will battle them out. It's another thing altogether for the Court to acquiesce in an expansion of executive power that nullifies constitutional rights; from that there may be no return.

In light of the history of this administration's assertion of power over detainee treatment, and now their recent admission of having bypassed the FISA court for years to spy on American citizens without warrants, are you willing to put the Constitution at risk by approving Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court?

Please protect our system of government; please oppose this nomination.



At 2:10 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Karen McL said...

Well - glad to se other folks who KNOW how to write their Senators and Congress-critters on matter of national importance.


Even if it doesn't STOP his confirmation, wasn't it NICE to at least have your opinion known!

At 12:11 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Nell said...

Even if it doesn't stop his confirmation...

Being able to express my opinion freely might not be consolation enough.

At 4:05 PM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Will said...

I wrote Warner a similar letter about Gitmo. I got a form letter three weeks later.

At least he is better than Allen.

At 5:03 PM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Nell said...

Way better than Allen, whose return letters have misspelled my name, not responded even in a general way to the topic, and on one occasion misspelled the topic of my letter (when I was opposing confirmation of Gonzales).

Warner's form letters at least are on-topic, and spend a page on the issue; Allen's consist of one paragraph faintly related to the topic followed by a generic 'visit my website' pitch. Truly, his staff are low, low quality. I've quit even bothering to write his office.

Thanks for writing Warner about Guantanamo. It's an ongoing disgrace.


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