Starting Date: 04-15-2005
2400 Sixth St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20059
at Howard University
Friday, April 15th
12 noon - 6 p.m.
PROTECT CHECKS & BALANCES – STAND UP FOR THE FILIBUSTER
Host of BET’s “Cousin Jeff Chronicles”
DR. LORENZO MORRIS
Chairman, Howard University Political Science Department
DR. MAYA RUCKEYMOORE
Vice President of Research and Programs, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
JATRICE MARTEL GAITER
President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington
RALPH G. NEAS
President, People For the American Way Foundation
Talk for Your Rights, Talk for Your Freedom, Talk for Your Democracy
On Friday, April 15th, Howard University will host a “Filibuster-a-Thon” on the yard from 12:00 to 6:00pm. Prominent campus and community leaders will join together to protest the threat of the “nuclear option”, the Republican attempt to get rid of the filibuster in the United States Senate and eliminate any power of the minority in Congress, by standing up on the historic Howard University campus and speaking for six straight hours.
This Filibuster-a-Thon was organized because we could lose our fight against a right-wing Supreme Court takeover before a vacancy and nomination occur – even as early as the next month. This threat comes in the form of the “nuclear option” proposed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and being pushed by the Religious Right, who would like President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees to be rubber stamped.
The Nuclear Option would attack the 200-year-old tradition of the Senate filibuster, the tool that empowers 41 or more senators to prevent a narrow majority from abusing its power – and one of the only ways to encourage genuine bipartisan cooperation and compromise on important issues.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: THE SUPREME COURT
If the filibuster is eliminated, Bush, Cheney and 50 senators could steamroll up to four new justices onto the Court – enough to create a right-wing majority. What stands between this and protecting the rights of the minority in the Senate by keeping the filibuster is 44 Democratic senators, the one Independent, and at least six courageous Republicans to prevent the nuclear option.
The threat to our generation and future generation’s freedoms is real. With a Supreme Court controlled by President Bush’s nominees, we could see a fundamental roll back of rights and freedoms we currently take for granted. A right-wing Supreme Court could restrict the Voting Rights Act and other important civil rights gains; threaten privacy and reproductive choice, environmental protections and equality for minority groups; and eliminate the remedies available to Americans victimized by abusive employers, corporations or government agencies.
Please join us in this historic event on April 8th at the center of Howard University. It’s your Senate, it’s your Supreme Court, it’s your voice. Let it be heard.
“It’s a democracy if we can keep it. And in order to keep it, you can’t stand still. You must move, and if you don’t move, they will run over you.”
-- Thurgood Marshall, Former Supreme Court Justice and Howard University Law School Alum, November 18, 1978
TO LEARN MORE: http://www.pfaw.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Invited Speakers Include: Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), Councilman Kwame Brown (At-Large, District of Columbia), Councilman Adrien Fenty (4th Ward, District of Columbia), Kurt Schmoke, Dean Howard University Law School, Goody Marhall, Son of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and former Clinton White House Official, Mark Tushnet, Professor, Georgetown Law School and former Thurgood Marshall law clerk
Geographical Scope: Local