From: Ben Brandzel, MoveOn PAC <>
To: Robin J. Rustan <>
Subject: Success! How you've protected the courts--and what's next
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 19:49:49 -0700

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday was an incredible day. Over 15,000 MoveOn members came together and spoke out at 192 "Rallies to Stop the Judicial Takeover" all organized in less than a week by other MoveOn members in all 50 states. The Washington, D.C. event featured a stirring address by former Vice President Al Gore.

It was the culmination of 10 days of intense action to save our courts and it was a huge success. Two weeks ago, it seemed virtually certain that we would wake up today to find Bill Frist and the radical Republicans pulling the trigger on their "nuclear" scheme to stack the courts. Instead, today Frist is scrambling for more time and grasping for more votes, while national polls show two thirds of the country solidly against him [1].

While we celebrate our progress, we must remember the fight is far from over. The key to victory is to keep our momentum going and our visibility high we've got to keep them on the run. Today you can take the easy step of printing and displaying a window sign, showing your commitment to protecting the courts. Please put one in your window today:

Click here to download a window sign

The Rallies to Stop the Judicial Takeover made waves from Tucson, Arizona to Portland, Maine. Hundreds of news reports are now pouring in from local television stations, radio stations, and newspapers all across the country. You have brought your message home to tens of millions of Americans who now see how strongly their friends and neighbors feel about protecting the integrity of our courts. And you've applied the most effective kind of pressure there is on our representatives in Washington.

What were the events like yesterday?

"It was great to see so many people coming together. Many people, myself included, said that this was the first time that we have ever demonstrated. That's a major accomplishment and shows to what extent people are moved to try to stop the erosion of our democracy."Pat, Hartford, Connecticut

"The whole thing was awesome. When I finally left at 6:20, there were still at least 25 people standing on the sidewalk along the street holding their signs and chanting! Many people told me they had never been to anything like this before, and they would definitely do it again."Susan, Decatur, Georgia

"As we left, shortly after 6:00 pm, the police officer assigned to our rally said, 'Y'all made sense and you were so nice, I may have to become a Democrat.'"Sharon, Austin, Texas

"I was the lone Republican in the crowd. I was selected as speaker for my group, mainly because I wanted all to know that this is NOT a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a Constitutional Crisis that affects us ALL. I was both humbled and proud to be selected to explain the difference between a Constitutional Conservative and these NeoConservatives driving our government's agenda."Earl, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Crowds braved intense rain in Portland, heat in Houston, and hail in Minneapolis. From large gatherings with major speakers to small groups of neighbors holding signs and discussing the issues, our voices were heard and 94% percent of those who came said they would do it again.

To see an early report with more pictures and quotes from members, click here:

At the same time Al Gore delivered an inspiring, high-energy address to a full house of MoveOn members and the national press. He talked about what is really at stake in this fight 200 years of checks and balances and respect for the rule of law itself. He summed up this crisis in plain, powerful terms "The proposal from the Senate majority leader to abolish the right of unlimited debate is a poison pill for our democracy...the survival of freedom depends on the rule of law."

You can watch the whole event and read his speech here:

Their change in plans is a hard fought victory over a Republican establishment that is not used to backing down. It's absolutely incredible how much we've accomplished together in the last few weeks:

Next week, Congress goes into recess, and the Republican leadership will be using this break to twist arms to regain the upper hand. Bill Frist has already declared he won't accept any compromises, and the White House dispatched Karl Rove to promise there would be no retreat [3].

To help keep our momentum up, please print and place a window sign today.

Next week, we'll continue to match them every step of the way and this fight will likely escalate again as soon as they return to Washington. But with the energy, commitment and innovation that we've seen in the last 10 days, today's victory will only be the first of many.

Thanks for all that you do,

Ben, Marika, Micayla, James and the MoveOn PAC Team
April 28, 2005

P.S. Congratulations to the dozens of other groups that have led in this fightespecially our friends at People for the American Way, Alliance for Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Earthjustice, and the countless other national and local members of the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judciairy who have contributed to making this campaign a success.

Our special thanks to Vice President Gore who adjusted his busy schedule so he could deliver an amazing keynote address. You can read the first section below, or see a video and read the speech in its entirety here:

Four years and four months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a bitterly divided 5 to 4 decision, issued an unsigned opinion that the majority cautioned should never be used as a precedent for any subsequent case anywhere in the federal court system.

Their ruling conferred the presidency on a candidate who had lost the popular vote, and it inflamed partisan passions that had already been aroused by the long and hard-fought election campaign.

I couldn't have possibly disagreed more strongly with the opinion that I read shortly before midnight that evening, December 12, 2000. But I knew what course of action best served our republic.

Even though many of my supporters said they were unwilling to accept a ruling which they suspected was brazenly partisan in its motivation and simply not entitled to their respect, less than 24 hours later, I went before the American people to reaffirm the bedrock principle that we are a nation of laws, not men. "There is a higher duty than the one we owe to a political party," I said. "This is America and we put country before party."

The demonstrators and counter-demonstrators left the streets and the nation moved onas it should haveto accept the inauguration of George W. Bush as our 43rd president.

Having gone through that experience, I can tell youwithout any doubt whatsoeverthat if the justices who formed the majority in Bush v. Gore had not only all been nominated to the Court by a Republican president, but had also been confirmed by only Republican Senators in party-line votes, America would not have accepted that court's decision.

Moreover, if the confirmation of those justices in the majority had been forced through by running roughshod over 200 years of Senate precedents and engineered by a crass partisan decision on a narrow party line vote to break the Senate's rules of procedurethen no speech imaginable could have calmed the passions aroused in our country.

As Aristotle once said of virtue, respect for the rule of law is "one thing."

It is indivisible.

And so long as it remains indivisible, so will our country.

But if either major political party is ever so beguiled by a lust for power that it abandons this unifying principle, then the fabric of our democracy will be torn.

To read the rest or see the video go to:


1. "Filibuster Rule Change Opposed," Washington Post, Tuesday, April 26, 2005; 1

2. "Founders' intentions may be casualty in fight over judges," USA Today, April 26, 2005

3. "Rove: Bolton will be confirmed; judges deserve vote," USA Today, April 28, 2005

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.