Bench Memos

Here’s the Fundraising Pitch

Right Wing Supreme Court Nominee

Alito Must Be Stopped

Double the impact of your support with our $100,000 Challenge Match!

Dear KAthryn,

This is it — the moment the Radical Right has been dreaming about for years. President Bush has nominated a far-right judge to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Supreme Court’s swing vote. If Alito is confirmed, the Court will shift radically to the right.

All the work we’ve done together to protect our courts and our Constitution has been leading up to this moment. We know what we need to do — stop Samuel Alito in the Senate. And we know how. But we need your help to wage intensive grassroots and media campaigns and fight the massive right-wing mobilization that is already under way.

One of our most loyal supporters called today to make a $100,000 challenge grant for this campaign.

Dollar for dollar your donations to the Supreme Court Defense Fund will be doubled!

Far-right activists, fresh off their victory against nominee Harriet Miers, are ecstatic about Alito. Right wing leader Gary Bauer states on NPR today that Bush has now kept his campaign promise because Alito is “like Scalia and Thomas.” The Right Wing is pouring millions of dollars into a campaign for Alito’s confirmation.

Here’s why the Right is fighting so hard to get Alito on the Supreme Court — and why we have to stop them:

Radical “states’ rights” ideology

Alito embraces the far right’s campaign to restrict the ability of Congress to pass and enforce laws protecting Americans’ rights and interests. He said state employers couldn’t be forced to pay damages if they violate the Family and Medical Leave Act. He said the Constitution doesn’t allow Congress to restrict the transfer and possession of machine guns at gun shows.

A “fast track” to dismantling Roe v. Wade and privacy rights

Radical Right groups are celebrating Alito’s nomination as the beginning of the end for a constitutional right to privacy and reproductive rights. As a federal judge, Alito supported a restriction on women’s reproductive freedom that even the conservative Supreme Court rejected. He voted to uphold a law requiring women to inform their husbands before seeking an abortion. And he would have allowed police to strip search a mother and her ten-year old daughter in their home even though the warrant allowing the search did not name either of them.

Limited protections against discrimination

In a series of cases, Judge Alito tried to restrict access to the courts for workers challenging racial and gender discrimination.

In short, replacing O’Connor with Alito would shift the Court far to the right — and jeopardize Americans’ rights and freedoms for decades.

We’re ready to tell Americans what’s at stake — and give them ways to get involved. Even before President Bush’s official nomination, we were getting our initial analysis of Alito’s record into the hands of thousands of journalists and activists. Within moments of the nomination, we had a website and petition ready to go chronicling Alito’s harmful record on the rights and liberties we cherish.

But we must now wage an intensive sustained campaign over the coming weeks. And we need the funds to act quickly and respond aggressively — to the distortions of the Right and the demands of the White House for quick approval.

We need to raise $500,000 NOW to get the message out that confirming Judge Alito to the Supreme Court would not be good for America. With your help, we will:

* Get hard-hitting radio and TV ads on the air about Alito’s troubling record on civil rights, with targeted ads on African American and Hispanic radio

* Phone bank our members in key swing states, urging them to ask their Senators to oppose Alito – and put organizers on the ground

* Create and deploy Internet campaigns to mobilize hundreds of thousands of Americans

Thanks to the supporter I mentioned earlier, you double the impact of every gift you make over the Internet to the Supreme Court Defense Fund between now and December 31.

Please make a donation now to help us match that challenge today.

When I chaired the successful national coalition that kept extremist Robert Bork off the Supreme Court almost 20 years ago, I counted on People For the American Way for creative, hard-hitting leadership. Now that I’m People For’s president, I’m proud of the leadership we have been giving to progressive efforts to keep the worst of President Bush’s judicial nominees off the federal courts.

I promise you we’ll put your money to effective use right now. I can’t think of any more important investment you could make in the future of the values and principles I know we share. Privacy, separation of church and state, protections against discrimination — with the nomination of Judge Alito it’s all at risk for decades to come.

Click here to make a credit card donation now.

Thank you,

Ralph G. Neas

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