Volume 74, Number 49 | April 13 - 19 , 2005

‘No nukes’ in the Senate

Last Wednesday in Union Sq. Park, an organization called Americans for Fair Courts held a noontime rally and set up a symbolic fallout shelter. The group is against Senate Republicans’ attempt to eliminate the filibuster. Under current rules, 40 of the 100 senators can block a vote on almost any piece of legislation or confirmation. G.O.P. senators want to change the rule so that a majority — or 51 senators — can bring a motion to the floor. Americans for Fair Courts calls this “the nuclear option,” since it would eliminate Senate oversight of judicial nominees and, as they put it, allow the “radical right to make lifetime judicial appointments without debate or consultation.” Organizer David Berry said the shelter was stocked with metaphorical supplies, such as boxes of the Right to Deliberation, Freedom of Speech and Civil Rights and cans of Fairness, Privacy and Tradition. They hope to present the Senate with a petition of 1 million names against eliminating the filibuster. Berry said they have already collected 850,000 signatures.

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

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