We must flood the Senate with emails and phone calls opposing the so-called “nuclear option,” which could be initiated as early as Tuesday, April 26. If we do not stop the far-right Republicans, we could lose our reproductive rights, workplace protections, educational opportunities, and much, much more.
Right now, it takes only 41 votes to continue debate and block a vote on a judicial nominee. It takes 60 votes to end debate and force a full Senate vote.
The so-called “nuclear option” would eliminate the use of the filibuster for all judicial nominees, allowing the Senate to confirm them with only 51 votes (or 50 votes and the tie-breaking vote of the Vice President). Democrats only have 44 votes in the Senate, plus Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT). Republican Senators Olympia Snowe (ME), Lincoln Chafee (RI), and John McCain (AZ) have also publicly stated that they would vote against the nuclear option.
Now more than ever, we need you to contact key Senators. We must convince them to vote “NO” on the nuclear option.
Let us not be fooled. The real purpose of this so-called “nuclear option” is to make the Senate a rubber stamp for all judicial nominees, including Supreme Court nominees. Republicans want a free ride when it comes to stacking the Supreme Court with far-right, reactionary justices. That’s why they are so intent on changing the rules before a Supreme Court resignation occurs.
The confirmation of judicial nominees should take a supermajority of 60 Senators to ensure that a weak majority is never able to ramrod through lifetime appointments to the federal courts. If we do not stop the “nuclear option,” then this President, who has won two elections by the narrowest of margins, will be able to not only stack the lower courts but also the Supreme Court – which would change the landscape of this country for the next 40 years.
The filibuster is an important tool to allow a strong minority to apply the brakes. If our judges are to be not just considered political ideologues, but people with judicial temperament representing mainstream society, then we cannot allow judges to be railroaded through the Senate confirmation process with only 51 votes.
We must act now, before it is too late.