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White House Stonewalls Senate
Refuses to release documents concerning nominee's work with Ken Starr

The White House denial of documents demands action!

Even if you've signed the  petition , you need to call your senators today and tell them not to let the Bush administration stand between them and their constitutional duty!

Sen. Edward Kennedy
Phone: (202) 224-4543 or (617) 565-3170

Sen. John Kerry
Phone: (202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Please tell us how your calls went by  clicking here.

Dear Joseph:

All 8 Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee have requested documents concerning key cases litigated by the Solicitor General's office during Judge John Roberts' tenure as political deputy to then-Solicitor General Ken Starr. Late Friday afternoon the White House refused these senators' request.

There is no basis for this denial.  Such documents have been released in previous Supreme Court confirmation proceedings including the Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and William Rehnquist. 

This action by the White House is an affront to our constitutional system of checks and balances and the senators' co-equal role in the appointment of lifetime judges.

The information about nominee Roberts' record that has already come out is very troubling. Given what we already know (listed in this email), one can only wonder what the White House is hiding.

That is why I am urging you to call your senators to tell them to stand up to the White House and fulfill their constitutional duty - a duty which obligates them to make informed decisions about Supreme Court nominees:

Sen. Edward Kennedy
Phone: (202) 224-4543 or (617) 565-3170

Sen. John Kerry
Phone: (202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Over 100,000 messages have been sent by you to the Senate asking them to demand full cooperation - and I thank you for letting them know how you feel. But the White House's action on Friday calls us to further action.

Call now. If you can't right now, please try to do it within the next 24 hours. We need to tell senators: "Get the documents you need to do your job!"

Sen. Edward Kennedy
Phone: (202) 224-4543 or (617) 565-3170

Sen. John Kerry
Phone: (202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Sandra Day O'Connor frequently provided the deciding vote to uphold Americans' rights and legal protections. Her replacement could dramatically shift the direction of the Supreme Court to the far right and determine the law of the land for decades to come. The limited documents released thus far suggest that Roberts was a key lieutenant in a 12 year comprehensive effort by previous Republican administrations to roll back many of these protections - protections for civil rights, reproductive rights, the environment, older Americans, people with disabilities, religious liberties and much more.

The American public and the United States Senate, which represents them in the nomination process, are entitled to know if these protections are in danger of disappearing.

Call your senators now. They need to know we won't allow the White House to push us around.
After you finish your calls, please tell us how your call went by clicking here.

Ralph G. Neas

Extra Reading : What is the White House hiding, if the following is already public?

Right to Privacy: As a Reagan Department of Justice official, Roberts derided what he called the "so-called" right to privacy, asserting ôsuch an amorphous right is not to be found in the Constitution." (Bloomberg News, 8/3/05 )

Environmental Protection: As a judge, Roberts authored a dissent arguing that the Endangered Species Act may be unconstitutional as applied in that case.  Worse, this case indicated that he may subscribe to the very dangerous new "federalist" views of limited congressional power to protect the environment and the rights of individual Americans. (Dissent in Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton , 2003 )

Reproductive Freedom: Roberts urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision granting women the right to choose. (Brief in Rust v. Sullivan, 1991 )

Voting Rights: Roberts helped promote the Reagan administration's efforts to severely limit the circumstances under which minorities could bring suit under the Voting Rights Act. (New York Times, 8/3/05 )

Access to Justice:  Roberts argued that Congress should strip the Supreme Court of the authority to rule on cases regarding school abortion, prayer, busing for school desegregation, and other issues, a position even more extreme that that advanced by Theodore Olson and adopted by the Reagan Administration. (Washington Post, 7/27/05 )

Immigrants' Rights:  Roberts criticized a Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas law that had allowed school districts to exclude children of undocumented immigrants. (Washington Post, 7/27/05 )

Affirmative Action: Roberts argued that affirmative action programs were bound to fail because they required "the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates." (Washington Post, 7/27/05 )

Rights of the Disabled:  Roberts criticized as "judicial activism" a court's order requiring a sign-language interpreter for a hearing-impaired public school student. (Washington Post, 7/27/05 )

Religious Liberty:  Roberts argued against clear First Amendment protections for religious liberty and in favor of officially sponsored school prayer at graduation ceremonies before the Supreme Court, which rejected his argument. (Amicus brief in Lee v. Weisman , 1992 )

School Desegregation: Roberts argued that Congress could pass a law preventing all federal courts from ordering busing to achieve school desegregation under any circumstances, a position even more extreme that that advanced by Theodore Olson and adopted by the Reagan Administration. (Memo from John Roberts, 2/15/84 )

Sex Discrimination: Roberts argued that the Justice Department should not intervene on behalf of female prisoners who were discriminated against in a job-training program, contradicting even the views of extremely conservative Civil Rights Division head, William Bradford Reynolds. (Washington Post, 7/27/05 )

Civil Liberties: In a recently-decided case brought by a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, Judge Roberts joined a ruling holding that the government could try terrorism suspects without granting them basic due process protections. (Opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , 2005 )

Rights of the Accused: Roberts sought to expand the ability of prosecutors and police to question suspects out of the presence of their attorneys. (Washington Post, 7/27/05 )

Executive Power:  As a judge, Roberts has shown enormous deference to the executive and an expansive view of executive power. In one case, for example, he would have gone farther than his colleagues on the court and allowed the Bush Administration retroactively to eliminate the jurisdiction of the federal courts to hear claims against Iraq by American soldiers who had been tortured there as POWs during the Gulf War, at a time when Iraq was considered a terrorist state. (Opinion in Acree v. Republic of Iraq, 2005

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