1. (From 5calls.org) The final vote to confirm John K. Bush is scheduled for today. Please contact our senators early if you can.
On Wednesday, June 14th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of John K. Bush for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Civil and Human Rights Coalition urges the Senate to reject Bush, as “John K. Bush is unworthy of a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. His extreme ideology and record show a hostility to women and LGBT people, campaign finance reform, and Democrats. Federal judges should be able to rule with impartiality and fairness, which are two qualities it’s clear Bush lacks. We urge the Senate to reject this nominee.” John K. Bush has zero experience as a judge. He is a commercial litigator and the president of a chapter of The Federalist Society, a group of conservatives and libertarians that promotes “originalism” – the view that the words of the Constitution should be interpreted as intended or understood by the authors. This interpretation results in deeply conservative interpretations of a broad range of issues. For example, from this perspective, Bush criticizes a Supreme Court ruling (NYT vs Sullivan) that protects freedom of the press from libel accusations. This willingness to suppress and punish freedom of the press is especially alarming in the context of Trump’s statement last year: “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” In addition to signaling a willingness to shield Trump from media scrutiny, Bush has made a number of deeply concerning statements and actions. He opposes public financing of political campaigns, the Affordable Care Act, and said abortion was one of the “two greatest tragedies in our country” (slavery being the other). He also wrote after the 2016 Republican National Convention that “the Democrats are trying to win with the same game plan as in 2008, only substitute woman for Black”. The Senate will ultimately decide on Bush’s appointment, and Senators needs to hear from their constituents about their opposition to this highly problematic candidate. Please contact our Senators and tell them to vote against John K. Bush’s nomination.
- Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
- Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting the senator to because I’m highly concerned about the appointment of John K. Bush to the US Court of Appeals. Bush has extreme ideology and I am concerned about the quality of his decisions. As the Civil and Human Rights Coalition has said, “His extreme ideology and record show a hostility to women and LGBT people, campaign finance reform, and Democrats. Federal judges should be able to rule with impartiality and fairness, which are two qualities it’s clear Bush lacks.” I ask that the Senator vote against his appointment. Thank you.”
2. (From the Sierra Club) Everyone deserves clean water. Period. And yet the Trump Administration, led by Scott Pruitt at EPA, are trying to repeal clean water protections for one in three Americans. In 2015, the EPA passed its Clean Water Rule, which protected streams, wetlands, and other water sources that provide water for 117 million Americans. This commonsense clarification helped protect upstream sources of water that had been largely unprotected and was the result of over 400 community hearings and 1200 peer-reviewed scientific studies. But now the Trump Administration is trying to repeal this rule in a giant giveaway to polluters. At a time when we should be focusing on protecting water quality for Americans, this puts too many, especially rural communities that depend on well water, at risk. Send in your comment now to oppose the repeal or reconsideration of the Clean Water Rule.
- Comment form here. There is a suggested script provided by the website. Feel free to use it as is, embellish what is provided, or change the message completely.
3. (From Rogan’s List) Russia is putting more and more pressure on Trump to reverse some of Obama’s actions to punish them for hacking our election. (Bloomberg article here.) Trump has proven as clearly as possible that he cannot be trusted when it comes to Russia. We need Congress to make sure he doesn’t let them off the hook. A nearly unanimous Senate voted for a bill that would allow Capitol Hill to step in if Trump tries to remove sanctions on Russia, but House Republicans have been stalling it. (The Hill article here.) Let’s contact Goodlatte and tell him we want him to do everything in their power to pass this measure as soon as possible.
- Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting Representative Goodlatte because I am concerned about the House stonewalling the bill that deals with the sanctions on Russia. This bill passed the Senate nearly unanimously on June 15th, and I support it, and ask that you publicly support it. Please make a public statement in support of the bill, as amended, and then vote for it when it comes to the floor. Thank you.”