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Posted by Jeff from ( on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 at 11:50AM :

Dear MoveOn member,

As we continue our Iraq campaign, we're also working to track the
most pressing domestic challenges from the Bush administration. While
Iraq is taking all the media focus, the right wing is using this
diversion to cover attacks on almost every front.

Tomorrow -- Thursday, March 6th -- our ability to withstand this
onslaught may come down to one crucial Senate vote. This vote
-- on the Miguel Estrada judicial nomination -- is widely seen as
a key moment defining whether the Democratic opposition can turn
back the worst of the right-wing initiatives.

The Senate will be voting on the filibuster* on the nomination of
Miguel Estrada to the D.C. appeals court. We need to support this
filibuster and the courageous Senators who are stepping forward
at this key moment. Please call your Senators *immediately* to make
your voice heard.

We've arranged a TOLL-FREE number for you to use. Please call it
twice to speak with both your Senators:


If that number is busy, please call your Senators directly, at:

Senator Levin
DC Phone: 202-224-6221

Senator Stabenow
DC Phone: 202-224-4822

Make sure the staffers know you're a constituent. Then urge your
Senators to:

"Please SUPPORT the filibuster to stop Miguel Estrada.
Please vote AGAINST cloture."

Please let us know you're making these important calls, at:

Miguel Estrada is a stealth right-wing extremist who has never served
as a judge before, yet has been nominated by the White House to a seat
on America's second-highest court. He stonewalled the Senate during
his confirmation hearings last year, refusing to answer basic questions
about his legal & judicial philosophy. Estrada is widely thought to be
President Bush's top choice for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. His
silence on his views on the law is a direct challenge to all of us.

Calling Estrada's behavior "a new height of arrogance," Senators Tom
Daschle (D-SD) and Harry Reid (D-NV) have finally gotten their fellow
Democrats to take a unified stand on principle, and are rightly
refusing to allow Estrada's confirmation.

They have launched a filibuster -- a tactic of last resort that is a
minority party's only recourse to ensure that a narrow majority party
does not gain absolute power. It's a bold move. If the filibuster
holds, as it has for 3 weeks now, it will send a clear signal that the
right wing can not ram its radically unfair agenda through Congress.
If it fails, that will send the opposite, frightening message.

In effect, the Estrada filibuster is now our main line of defense
safeguarding the democracy we believe in and the society we want our
children to inherit. Republicans have just called for a "cloture" vote
-- an attempt to break the filibuster -- to take place this Thursday.

MoveOn members have played a huge part in making this filibuster
possible. For weeks, key Senators have been citing our thousands of
phone calls as a major force keeping the Democrats together. Even
today, they're talking about what a difference we're making.

Unity among Senators to maintain this filibuster is crucial. Please
call your Senators right now.

Thank you.


--The MoveOn Team
Carrie, Eli, Joan, Peter, Wes, and Zack
March 5, 2003


A recent New York Times story on the filibuster is at:

For more information on Estrada, there's a good fact sheet at:

* For more information on filibusters, see our bulletin at:

-- Jeff
-- signature .

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