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ADA NEWS & NOTES

Vol. 17, No. 1 February 4, 2005


adaction@ix.netcom.com
http://www.adaction.org

IMPORTANT
INFORMATION
Capitol Hill Switchboard
** ADA Social Security Forum
** Save the Date: ADA Convention (202) 224-3121
** Judicial Nominations ADA’s Legislative Department
(202) 785-5980
STATE OF DISUNION Capitol Hill Postal Mail
Senator/Representative
The President’s State of the Union address this week Senate or House Office Bldg.
provided high flowing rhetoric with very little in the way of Washington, DC
reality. for Senate: 20510 for House: 20515
Wrapped in the obligatory flag of deception, the Specific Contact Information including Address,
President’s address presented several alarming indicators Phone, Fax, and Email can be found at:
for the months and years to come as he laid out his assault Senate: www.adaction.org/actionalert.htm
on Social Security, gay rights, and liability lawsuits among House: www.adaction.org/actionalert.htm
other things.
Particularly low blows were aimed at asbestos related AMERICANS FOR DEMOCRATIC
disease sufferers and homosexuals. ACTION (ADA)
The mathematics involved in his pledge to cut the budget Presents
deficit in half by 2009 is also alarming. By pushing forward
THURSDAY FORUMS
on making permanent previous tax cuts for primarily the
wealthy coupled with limiting budget cuts to “discretionary” Room HC6 (Capitol Building)
spending (largely social and domestic spending), the Directions: Enter through House or Senate
President and his Congressional cohorts are likely to slash wings; proceed to the Rotunda; then take the
funding for vital programs such as education, Medicaid, stairs to lower level.
and environmental regulation. 2:00pm
The President also spent a fair amount of time playing
Thursday, February 10, 2005
the Social Security shell game. By incorrectly portraying
Social Security as a “crisis” and on the verge of RECLAIMING THE AMERICAN
“bankruptcy,” he has launched his assault on the economic DREAM PART 1:
security of Americans that has been guaranteed for 70 years. SOCIAL SECURITY
Let us not forget that the lower benefits that will be the Featuring
product of his Social Security scam not only alter the
retirement security of Americans but also the security of Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), ADA
survivors and the disabled that gain valuable assistance each National President
month from the program.
And all of this was intertwined in the larger smoke screen Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for
of freedom. The President and his speechwriters delight in Economic and Policy Research
whipping up patriotic fervor to hide the mean-spirited
policies they support. Barbara Kennelly, President, National
The use of bellicose language in setting the tone for Committee to Preserve Social Security and
foreign policy does nothing to make the United State or Medicare
the World safer from terrorism. It does nothing to make us
more secure at home or respected by our would-be allies James Roosevelt, Jr., former Associate
around the World. Macho rhetoric may work great in Commissioner of Social Security for
pumping you up on the campaign trail, but now it’s time to
Retirement Policy
actually run the country and participate in the global
community. Please Plan To Join Us
This address was the State of the Union but its message
was one of disunion. Our task is before us; we, as liberals, This forum is the first in a new ADA series of
must hold this Administration accountable for its mistakes forums to be held on a wide range of issues
and hold back the tide of regressive and reactionary policy.
and are scheduled to take place the first
Thursday of each month when Congress is in
session.
Quote of the Week
“These very narrow arguments on legal niceties totally miss the point. None of those justify saying he has given
America a black eye in terms of torture, and if he is Attorney General, we approve of this kind of person, that would
be part of such activity. That has got to be nonsense.”
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) on the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General

“Now, some have talked about the legal memos he was involved in as legal niceties. Well, Mr. President, torture is
not a legal nicety, especially if you are the person being tortured.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in response.

JUDICIAL NOMINEE OVERVIEW

President Bush continues to take an extremist approach to federal judicial nominations and the nominees
themselves haven’t changed all that much. His slate of nominees is largely a resubmission of controversial candidates
from the past. It hardly looks like a President trying to fulfill his post-election promises of uniting the country.
Among the federal nominees being resubmitted are Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, Department
of Defense Counsel William Haynes, North Carolina District Judge Terrance Boyle, General Counsel of Brigham Young
University Thomas B. Griffith, Alabama Attorney William H. Pryor, and California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers
Brown.
There has been no new light shed upon the qualifications of these nominees that would make us change our
position on them. That makes it all the more outrageous that President Bush is rehashing these candidates. Justice
Owen, up for the appointment to the US Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit, has dismissed suits by workers for discrimination
and injury. She repeatedly voted to throw out jury verdicts against corporations and has acted above the law on choice
issues. Department of Defense Counsel Haynes has demonstrated how he wants to curtail civil liberties and has shown
no impartiality on labor and environmental issues. Judge Boyle is a right-wing judicial activist who has ignored precedents
and has shown disregard for the will of the Congress. He has been reversed over 120 times by the Fourth Circuit, an
extremely high rate. General Counsel Griffith’s views suggest that he may not be willing to uphold central civil rights
statutes. Attorney Pryor’s record of hostility toward civil rights and his leadership in the “states’ rights” movement
makes him an unacceptable candidate as well. Finally, Justice Brown’s record as a state judge should raise questions
about her willingness to uphold equal justice.
These federal judicial nominees were strongly opposed in the past and will remain so. It is appalling that
President Bush thinks he can put these blatantly partisan candidates again.
ADAction: Contact your Senators. Urge them to examine judicial nominees with great care and to reject extremism.
Reported by ADA Intern Dan Yanulavich

ADAers PARTY IN PROTEST:


GATHERING MOMENTUM FOR UPCOMING
BATTLES
ADAers and liberal supporters gathered in Washington,
DC for the ADA Counter-Inaugural on January 20th. Sev-
eral hundred activists were inspired by the words of Rep.
Jim McDermott (D-WA), ADA President, and the music of
the Oxymorons.
Click Here to the a story about the event from the Wash- ADAers including ADA Executive Committee member
ington Post. Elaine Newman (right) enjoying the ADA Counter-In-
augural

SAVE THE DATE


It’s never too early to mark
your calendars.
ADA Board Member Hans Johnson (left) joins ADA Presi-
dent Rep. Jim McDermot t (D-WA) at the Counter-Inaugu- The 2005 ADA National Conference and
ral Gala, Jan. 20, in DC. McDermott, a Navy veteran and Convention will be held in Washington, DC
star of the 2004 film Fahrenheit 9-11, had just led a moment June 23-26th at the Georgetown Holiday Inn.
of silence to commemorate armed service members over-
seas and later unleashed a stemwinder that drew the crowd
More information and the opportunity to pre-
of 300 to its feet. (Thanks Hans, for the photo and the de- register will be coming soon.
scription)
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