According to published reports, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist intends to push the button on the “nuclear option” to eliminate judicial filibusters within the next four to eight weeks.
In response to Sarah Palin's remarks concerning the Supreme Court on Wednesday's episode of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement:
PFAW's Kolbert: We need a conversation about the Court and the Constitution, not more sleaze from the smearmongers of the Right
The Judicial Confirmation Network, a group of right-wing activists that mobilized support for the Bush administration's efforts to impose its political agenda on the federal judiciary, has launched a mud-slinging ad campaign that is ostensibly about the Supreme Court but does nothing to address the issues at stake for all Americans in the future of the judiciary.
In response to a question today in Lima, OH, Senator John McCain turned the subject to the Supreme Court and bragged about his support of George W. Bush's nominees to the Supreme Court. In response, People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert said, "It's clear that John McCain is trying to polish his anti-choice credentials by highlighting his support for George W. Bush's judges."
The House Judiciary Committee today voted to hold Karl Rove in Contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee. In response, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "I applaud the House Judiciary Committee for standing up for the rule of law. Ordinary Americans don’t get to pick and choose which subpoenas they comply with and neither does Karl Rove."
People For the American Way Press Secretary Drew Courtney joins Brave New Films and other activists to deliver 127,000 petition signers urging the House Judiciary Committee to hold Karl Rove in contempt for refusing to answer its subpoena. Courtney said, "For the last 25 years, People For the American Way has been fighting for the principle that the law applies equally to all people. Today, I’m proud to be joined by 127,000 people who want to put that theory into practice."
In New Hampshire, the state Republican Party attempted to defend Senator John Sununu’s support of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito by calling Sununu “an independent voice for New Hampshire.” People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, “If John Sununu is an independent voice, why has he voted for every single one of President Bush’s most extreme judicial nominees? On the most important votes he’s taken confirming nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench, he’s voted in lockstep with George W. Bush. He’s certainly distinguished himself as one of President Bush’s most loyal allies; he can’t reasonably be called ‘independent.’”
People For the American Way will begin running radio ads next week in New Hampshire focusing on Senator John Sununu’s support of George Bush's ulta-conservative nominees to the Supreme Court, and releasing a web video with the same theme.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Exxon v. Baker drastically reducing a punitive damages award against the corporation arising out of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, People For the American Way Foundation president Kathryn Kolbert said, "The Exxon Valdez struck a reef 19 years ago, but the people and environment of Prince William Sound are still feeling its effects. The oil spill was an environmental and economic disaster of historic proportions. The punitive damages in the case should reflect that fact as well as the size and scope of the responsible corporation."
At an event today in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Senator Barack Obama spoke about his support of the Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. That decision severely curtailed the right of women and other employees who are victimized by unlawful wage discrimination to obtain back pay. Senator Obama criticized Senator John McCain’s refusal to support the same legislation.
People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement:
People For the American Way Foundation, along with a group of allies, today filed suit on behalf of six Florida voters to prevent two proposed state constitutional amendments from appearing on the November ballot. The proposed amendments would pave the way for sending public monies to religious and other private schools.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boumediene v. Bush People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, The Supreme Court has rebuked President Bush’s vision of the presidency as an office of limitless power, and declared that the president of a free nation cannot simply lock people up and throw away the key like some third-world dictator. This is a stinging blow to the administration’s lawless policies and its allies in Congress."
In response to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move to hold up Senate business by requiring the clerk to read a 500-page amendment, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "Once again, the Senate Republicans are throwing a fit, demanding to have more Bush judicial nominees confirmed in the waning months of President Bush’s term. This time, they’re gumming up the works in the Senate with a parliamentary maneuver, effectively shutting down the Senate as it works on the global warming bill."
After Senator Norm Coleman bragged to the Minnesota GOP convention about the supposedly crucial role he played in winning confirmation for Chief Justice John Roberts, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said “It’s hard to believe that Norm Coleman is actually taking credit for putting Chief Justice Roberts on the Supreme Court. Under Roberts, the Supreme Court has voted to: deny equal pay to a woman who was paid less than the men in her factory, strike down voluntary integration plans for public schools that wanted to bring black and white students together, uphold a ban on an abortion procedure with no exception for the health of the woman, and deny free speech protections to internal government whistle-blowers.