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Dear MoveOn Member:

Next week Republicans are hoping to seize absolute power over judicial appointments.

So on Wednesday, thousands of us will gather at emergency rallies across the nation to send a clear message:

Americans want fair judges, not extremists appointed to favor corporate interests and right-wing fringe groups. Sign up now:


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Dear MoveOn member:

 It’s worth taking a moment to remember why Republican leaders are so intent on seizing power over the courts:the minimum wage, the Clean Water Act, the constitutional right to privacy, and so many other progressive advances are still too popular to for politicians to gut outright! So they’re hoping to stack the Supreme Court with justices so far to the right they’ll do what Congress can’t. It’s an extraordinarily devious plan-they’re relying on judicial activism to roll back our rights, even as they claim they’re trying to curb it –and the lynchpin is next week’s vote on the “nuclear option.”

 Here’s the catch: the more Republicans realize the public is watching, the more nervous they get. So on Wednesday, MoveOn members across the nation are organizing emergency Rallies to Stop the Judicial Takeover. We’ll gather in front of courthouses and federal buildings to send a clear message: Americans want fair judges, not extremists appointed to favor corporate interests and right-wing fringe groups.

As we write this, we still need someone to host a rally in Washington. It’s easy! All you need to do is choose a location in front of a courthouse near you, post the event, then take care of a few logistical details. You don’t even need to speak! Click here to search for a rally near you, and if there isn’t one within driving distance, please consider hosting a rally in your town:

 The stakes of this fight could hardly be higher. It’s Earth Day today, so look out the window and imagine living in a country in which courts ruled that we had to pay polluters to stop polluting. Sound farfetched? This is the upshot of the radical legal theories embraced by many of Bush’s corporate-biased nominees, and it shows in their records. For example, the Los Angeles Times editorialized that Priscilla Owen, an appeals court nominee approved yesterday by a Senate Committee, “often side[s] with business in disputes involving employee rights, consumers and the environment” and has “a record of indifference to the problems of most Americans.” In one case, she “argued that property rights justified giving large landowners the power to exempt themselves from water pollution controls and land use safeguards.” 1

 Janice Rogers Brown, also approved yesterday, has spoken in support of elevating corporate property rights to a level on par with fundamental rights like free speech. She also “wrote in a solo dissent that private property is now ‘entirely extinct in San Francisco.'” 2 And putting corporate property rights before other values doesn’t just hamstring environmental protection — workplace safety, the right to unionize, consumer protection, even programs like Social Security end up on the chopping block too.

 Of course, the fight over the courts is not just about giving corporate interests free reign to pollute the air and abuse workers. As the Schiavo tragedy showed, Republican leaders are also pandering to fringe religious groups who want to use our judicial system to force their particular beliefs on the rest of us — something our nation’s founders (who spent plenty of time in church themselves) considered a very bad idea. Imagine a country where all forms of contraception are illegal; where the government decides what your doctor can and can’t tell you based on one group’s narrow religious dogma; where the police might interfere with your most private life and death family decisions.

 Together, we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure this vision of America doesn’t come to pass. MoveOn members have blanketed the nation with over 40,000 letters to the editor, tens of thousands of calls, hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, and hard-hitting messages on the airwaves.

 But there’s no substitute for public rallies where we can stand up and be counted. That’s why Wednesday’s events — organized jointly by MoveOn PAC and our friends at the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary — are so critical. Please come to a rally in your state, even if it means leaving a bit early from work and traveling to get there. You can search for rallies near you at, or sign up to host your own:

 We’re on the right track — news reports say Republicans’ private polling shows the public moving our way — but we’ve still got an uphill fight ahead of us to find a few more Republican votes and keep Democrats standing strong. The best way to do that is to join together next Wednesday and show Congress, and our neighbors, how many of us are concerned about the Republican drive for absolute power over the courts.

 Thank you for all that you do,

-Justin, Rosalyn, Matt, Ben and the MoveOn PAC Team
   Earth Day, April 22nd, 2005

 1. [Emphasis added] Letter concerning Priscilla Owen from environmental groups to U.S. Senators;

 2. Letter concerning Janet Rogers Brown from environmental groups to U.S. Senators;

 Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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