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More on Kerry Backing Filibuster

by Pamela Leavey

UPDATE: CNN now reports this story: Sen. Kerry calls for filibuster of Alito, as first reported here

As Ron just reported a short time ago, William Pitt has reported at Democratic Underground that John Kerry “is supporting a filibuster.”

I have confirmed through my sources that both John Kerry and Ted Kennedy spoke up yesterday about the importance of stopping Alito. I suspected something was going down yesterday when Kerry’s floor speech got pushed back by an hour or so. There was deep frustration on the floor yesterday amongst Dems, that was clear to anyone watching the proceedings.

Word has it that the two Senators from Massachusetts, shocked those Senators who had declared that the Alito nomination was a done deal, by arguing the merits of a filibuster. They both know they face steep odds on this fight, but Kerry and Kennedy are known to work very closely together… and are not afraid to stand up.

This fight is one I feel, that we will see the sort of passion that a lot of us remember from 1971. It is clearly not over. My sources tell me that Kerry has been unequivocal and has passionately talked to colleagues — trying to get the ball rolling.

I urge everyone to stand up with Senators Kerry and Kennedy on this fight! Let them know we have their backs. Our focus is to lobby our Senators — last night I reported on the NY Times editorial calling for a filibuster… I said then “I personally can not sit back and watch this happening with out making a stand.”

There’s a Senate Phone List here, with numbers to all the Democratic Senators and the key moderate Republicans. There are also two toll free numbers – 888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641.


Here’s a list of key Senators to press:

Robert Byrd (WV)
(202) 224-3954
Web Form: http://www.byrd.senate.gov/byrd_email.html
FAX: (202) 228-0002

Mary Landrieu (LA)
(202) 224-5824
Web Form: http://www.landrieu.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
FAX: (202) 224-9735

K. Salazar (CO)
(202) 224-5852
Web Form: http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
FAX: (202) 228-5036

Johnson, Tim- (D – SD)
(202) 224-5842
Web Form: johnson.senate.gov/emailform.cfm

Susan Collins (ME)
Phone: (202) 224-2523
Web Form: http://collins.senate.gov/public /
FAX: (202) 224-2693

Olympia Snowe (ME)
Phone: (202) 224-1946
WebForm: http://snowe.senate.gov/Webform.htm
FAX: (202) 224-1946

Sign Kerry’s Alito Petition: www.johnkerry.com/action/alito.

Kennedy Backs Kerry in Filibuster of Alito.

Filibuster Alito, posted by John Kerry.

51 Responses to “More on Kerry Backing Filibuster”

  1. Bush goes on and on with lies, bad policy, and the Democrats appear to do nothing but some political calculation and minimal opposition. Now is the time to get rid of the madman Bush and his cronies, immediately. If nothing is done now, Germany of 70 years back will be reborn in the US.

  2. Looks like we lost Senator Byrd on the Alito vote. C-SPAN shows him as a “Yea”. Based on what he has been saying he is voting based on conservative constituents and says he always leans toward conservative judges. Still not over yet…

  3. DAS


  4. re Byrd

    But Alito isn’t conservative on the Constitution-he wants to upend it. Nowhere does it say power to the president and not the people.

    When is his re-election?

  5. If you can fax or e-mail all Democratic Senators to filibuster Alito. I did it today and it only took 45 minutes.

  6. John Mustard. We could very well be seing the end of our Democracy. Your right! It very well may be what it was like in Germany in 1929. It just so unblievable to me that 230 years may be ruined by 8 years of GWB. Hopefully our Nation can endure this assult. It is the most critical of times.

  7. Bruce Headrick

    Thanks! Spread the word.

  8. I have to say I was impressed with Senator Salazar (D) of Colorado’s comments on reasons why he is voting “No” on Alito. He so clearly addressed Alito’s record on women’s rights and civil rights. If the public really got to hear this information on Alito’s record (instead of photos of his wife crying) from THE MEDIA there would more public outrage. Salazar showed conviction in his belief that Alito would turn the country back with regards to equal protection and diversity. That’s so sad that our President and his party would even want someone like that. It’s not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing…it’s an American thing.

  9. I know, I called everywhere, claiming birthright and common ground with everyone I spoke with.

    Byrd gave everyone else, and on the Gang of 14, some cover. Even though his record is far from wonderful. Cares more about another term he probably won’t get. If a telegenic and rich media guy is going against him, just announced today, conveniently, really should find someone else.

  10. CNN Says Kerry just called for a Filibuster!

  11. On Wolf Blitzer they are discussing the pros and cons of this move. They are discussing how this could backfire on Kerry but are also saying that this places him as a strong leader for our party. He is positioned as someone who is standing up for our core principles even if he loses.

  12. DAS

    Is there a link?

  13. Sorry Pam, I am looking at the television show CNN Situation Room. I am not computer savvy with the “link stuff”. One day you all will have to help me with that :)

  14. The short discussion occured during the first 5 or 10 mins of the show. I am sure they will continue discussing it because that had it shown as Breaking story at open.

  15. CNN’s web site is now reporting this as breaking news

  16. Can someone explain why if they are going to vote no anway, why would they not back a fillibuster. I know Leahy is voting no. Just as an FYI. I was off work on Monday night at my second job and sat for 2 hours in front of my pc using the http://www.senate.gov/…/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

    website and sent an email to every democrat senator asking them to fillibuster, because I felt it was the only way to stop the nomination. That would be so cool, if they did, it would make me feel like ONE person can make a difference. I am sure of course my emails have nothing to do with it but it still would make me feel good.

  17. BREAKING NEWS Sen. John Kerry calls for a filibuster of Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination.

  18. Filibuster today, celebrate tonight! So, now it seems clear to me that Harriet Miers was never a real choice for the court. This anti-people Alito was the real choice all along. We must not let him get confirmed. If he is, it will be another major coffin nail in our nation. I’ve lived through alot of horse mess, but the last 5 years have been the worst. God save us!
    Doug in illinois

  19. Great news that Kerry is taking a stand on the filibuster. But he now needs help, a lot of help.

    Usually, Democrats in the Senate vote the way they want to vote without repurcussions if they don’t vote with the other Democrats. This time is much different because if we lose, we will end up with a unitary president that cannot be stopped by the other two branches of government!

    Sen. Kerry, Sen. Reid, the minority party leader in the Senate and Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC, need to strong arm the traitor Democratic Senators who say they will vote for Alito, which is really a vote to end democracy in America and the beginning of a one party Republican unitary monarchy.

    So far, we have three Democratic Party traitors who will vote for Alito and two other traitors who will not support a filibuster.

    The traitors need to know that they will be forced out of the Democratic Party if they do not stick with the other Democratic Senators and filibuster Alito. This vote is that important. The future of democracy depends on it.

  20. sandrakae,

    “Can someone explain why if they are going to vote no anway, why would they not back a fillibuster.”

    Most likely there will be more people who are willing to vote no than support a filibuster for a variety of reasons. (I’m just listing reasons here–it doesn’t mean I agree with all of them).

    The filibuster could make them appear more into obstruction than just a no vote. It could be spun as opposing a yes or no vote–being sort of anti-Democracy. As it is unlikely Alito will be stopped, much of this comes down to what is the best strategy to win make the Republicans pay a political price without harming the Democrats. Then there’s the fears of some Democrats as to how it will affect their reelection.

    There’s also the risk of the nucear option as we don’t want the nuclear option used now which would prevent a filibuster in 2007-8 when it is likely the Democrats will have more Senate seats and be able to both sustain a filibuster and prevent the nuclear option (assuming a few Republicans wont’ go along even if they still hold the Senate by a slight margin).

  21. Let the spin begin. :(

  22. I have to send off an email to that fence walking fool from my state. I already know what the GOP whore, David Vitter, will do. Mary Landfill on the other hand, is a thorn. She has me baffled sometimes.

  23. Just heard on the television (CNN Situation Room) that the administration says they feel they will be able to get the 60 votes they need to defeat a filibuster. Maybe they do or maybe they are putting on a confident game face. Regardless, those who feel this nominee needs to be further examined should not give up.

  24. I’ve got it up on my blog, and am busy emailing the scores of people I sent Kerry’s original petition to, urging them to start making calls. I suspect the response Kerry received from the petition to stand against Alito convinced him this was worth it. Let’s go get ’em.

  25. We definitely should not give up. Not to spoil the mood, but I just called the office of Susan Collins (R) and they said she will be voting “Yes” for Alito. Looks like they may just get the 60 (unfortunately with the help of our 3 Dems).

    There may be some other possiblities – I think some Repubs who may have come our way are becoming frightened if this is portrayed by their party as a partisan battle.

    Keepin’ the faith!

  26. After the way the committee treated judge Alito my wife changed her voting registration from Demo to Repub. We live in West Va.

    Sent to Sen. Byrd this morning…

    Dear Sen. Byrd:

    It breaks our hearts to see how the U. S. Senate has treated judge Alito. It’s as if he’s on trial and the judges have already made up their minds. This has gone on far too long.

    How on earth will we get the most qualified people to serve in government when we treat the candidates this way?

    Of all the people in this lynch mob, Sen. Ted Kennedy has been the worst offender. His laughable attempts to find “dirt” on this candidate were not humorous. They were pathetic. He is pathetic.

    Here we are trying to serve as role models for developing countries. Those are countries we hope will adopt democratic principles and behave in a civilized fashion.

    If the last several weeks are typical of the “lessons” we have to offer the world, I hope they were asleep in the classroom.

  27. OK if the fence walker claims to be willing to consult with constituents, I say we give her a real blast of reality.

    “I will continue to consult with constituents, groups, organizations and colleagues to decide on my final vote. I do think it is important that we have an up or down vote.”

    So lets make her live up to her words. Blast her office with mails and phone calls. It’s time for those with a “D” behind their name to finally stand up and act like it! That goes for the rest in the “Gang of 14”. Those fence walkers need a wake up call. Time to face the political music and make a choice. There is no Moderate, when it comes to the violation of our Constitution.

    Mary Landrieu, you are on notice, and your future in the Senate, is at stake. ’08 will see you in the unemployment line, with so many others, if you continue to work against the wishes of your people and your party. The only person that would not get my vote against your at this time, would be a Republican!! Wake up before it gets past too late.

  28. Carl, I have one word for you ” Divorce”

  29. Carl,

    I’d have more sympathy for the plees for more civility if not for the fact that it is the Republicans who are responsible for increasing the partisan warfare in Washington to this degree.

  30. Byrd staffers seem unhappy and frustrated about it and all the criticism they are getting. Byrd faces a well-financed opposition candidate this year.

    I may take back what I said about Kerry, Kennedy and Reid if they can pull this off.

  31. Carl,
    Remember the way Republicans treated Clinton’s nominees? The way they treated Clinton? And all he did was commit a personal moral infraction, he didn’t violate his Constitutional oath. What rubbish, you changed your voting registration over Alito’s hearing!

  32. John Kerry? Stand up and do something, instead of rolling over and playing dead??

    I don’t believe it. I’ll have to see it first.

  33. As Raw Story reported yesterday, though, Dem Senators’ aides say that they have not been getting enough calls to feel that people are really involved in this effort. People seem more concerned about the NSA spying. Every single one of us needs to get on the phone, fax and email and let these Senators know that we support them and will stand with them. Seriously, we can make or break it depending on whether we are willing to expend the effort. Please call. Many of the voicemail boxes are full (I think that is a good sign) but if you can’t get through tonight, call first thing tomorrow.

  34. Val

    I made some calls late last night – but if their mail boxes are full, you can’t leave a message.

    Let JK know you’ve got his back –


  35. It’s time for the Democrats to pull together and do the right thing for our country. Our country’s democratic principles are under attack by corporate interests and Alito has proven that his efforts will diminish the rights of the individual. Our government is supposed to work for the people not for the corporations. FILIBUSTER ALITO!

  36. Senator Kerry;

    Your patriotism knows no bounds.

    My family has been urging our republican senators to oppose this judicial nomination. I need not explain the outcome.
    When we thought all was lost, we heard the report a filibuster was being considered by you and Senator Kennedy. We are once again hopeful, and proud to see the Democratic party is the party standing up to save our Constitution and Bill of Rights. So proud.

    Please let the party know the American people are concerned and behind you. Show the world what statesmanship is.

    mark o’keefe
    st.louis, mo.

  37. I think Kerry is just pandering to liberal base at this point. Don’t have the 60 votes needed to filibuster and the Senator knows it. He’s a day late and a doller short.

  38. Mike,

    I think you may be lost. This is the place to come to work. We are rolling up our sleeves and trying to make a difference.

  39. Mike

    41 votes to filibuster. Thank you.

  40. Mike,

    Kerry very will might fail, but that doesn’t mean he is pandering or a day late. He is fulfilling a promise he made in 2003 to filibuster in a situation such as this. Actions fought based upon principle can be admirable even if unlikely to succeed.

  41. me Says:
    January 26th, 2006 at 6:32 pm ,

    Of course John Kerry will stand up and do something. Just like when he stood up to fight Richard Nixon on Vietnam. Just like when he stood up to fight Richard Nixon on Iran Contra. Just like he stood up to fight money laundering in the BCCI case. Just like he stood up to protest Bush’s foreign policy when most Democrats were afraid to post 9/11. Just like when he refused Bill Clinton’s advice to compromise on principles during the campaign. Just like when he insisted after the election that we must stick to liberal principles when many Democrats were trying to rush towards the middle.

  42. Don’t talk about my President!! :( You are starting to anger me!! Get the hint Mike?

  43. Senator Kerry speaks for me. His voice echoes the cries of the nation. He is a Senator who realizes he is doing the work of his people.

    Thank you, Senator Kerry, for raising our voices and fighting for all of us.


  44. Thank God!!! Please Mr. Kerry lead the fight against Alito. We need democrats to fight and not take Alito lying down. Each time elected democrats concede to Bush and his nominees, we lose hope. We need a filibuster to wake up the rest of the democrats. The independents are waiting for this. Please we need this fight.

  45. In the end, their won’t be a filibuster and if you have 60 votes you stop it. Roger 41, but they don’t have that either. Anyone taking bets? And yes pandering! Should have started efforts a lot earlier then at stage where is just about a forgone conclusion.

  46. Mike, he did start earlier, secretly, or are just trying to find fault.

  47. Marjorie,
    I let my disgust get the best of me. I’m one of those moderates who just not happy with the current state of affairs in political America. Having said that, and not trying to bash anyone, I’m not and never will be a Kerry supporter. I have had some dealing with him and I will leave it at that. As an avowed moderate, he would not be my candidate from that angle either and I hope he does not get nominated again.
    As for being a moderate, America is (or has become) a two party system at the national level. Moderates and Extremists…and the extremists are wildly divided! The more moderate candidates will continue to win at the national level. I know I’m off topic a bit, but it does apply to Alito. Watching nearly all the testimony on CSPAN it was obvious that Alito, like others before him, did not want to give straight answers on controversial topics. Additionally, the political speeches were supposed to be questions didn’t seem to amount to much on either side. The process did not impress me. The only ray of light for me was the judicial panel discussions. I walked away thinking Alito is definitely on the Conservative side, but not the radical, the radical left is trying to paint him. I firmly believe that the far left wouldn’t support a liberal leaning moderate if nominated by President Bush. This political process worries me.
    One parting thought from a moderate, LIEBERMAN for President!! If he had gotten the Democratic nomination I would have gone door-to-door for him.

  48. Mike in Maine

    I do know that this has been in the works for days, it was kept under wraps as well it should have. If it looked like this would happen, we never would have heard the public outcry which helps to make the case.

    Aside from that, welcome to the Dem Daily.
    How’s the weather down Maine?

  49. Sure can’t win.

    Some are attacking Kerry for being too late (even though, along with Kennedy, he’s the first Democrat to act and he acted shortly after this reached the Senate Floor) while others are attacking Kerry for going public too soon and tipping his hand to the Republicans.

    Mike, the left would be very happy if Bush had a moderate nominee who didn’t seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and who respected the separation of powers intendted by the founding fathers. In hoping for someone like another O’Connor this is hardly accepting only someone on the far left.

  50. I have a better a chance of being elected prime minster of england than bush ever electing a moderate.

    As for kerry being late? What about the dems on the judiciary comm. They were the first line of defense in taking alito to task not Kerry who was in Iraq and the middle east.

  51. Pen,

    That’s about the chances of Bush nominating a moderate.

    Anyone who goes along with the unitary executive doctrine as Allito does is not a moderate or a conservative. That makes him an extremist who should not be on the court, especially when we are faced with a President who has already been abusing the powers of the executive branch.