Saturday, January 28, 2006

Kerry Takes to Senate Floor on Filibuster

John Kerry flew back from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland yesterday to give a Senate floor speech on his push to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito. Kerry talked for about 27 minutes and did a wonderful job of breaking down how the choice of a Supreme Court justice affects the lives of all Americans in a very tangible way.

An excerpt:
“The critical question here is, Why are we so compelled to accept in such a rush a nominee who has so clearly been chosen for political and ideological reasons? That is the real question. Our job is to advise and consent. No one understands better than I do the consequences of an election and what happens when a President wins. I have heard colleagues say: Well, the President won. He has a right to make his choice. Yes, he does. And the choice he has made is an ideological choice to take the Court in a certain direction. That is his choice.

“Our choice depends on our rights as Senators and depends on what the Constitution tells us we should do in terms of giving advice and consent. My question to the Senate is, What is our advice with respect to the rights of a young person to be strip-searched or with respect to people in their homes or with respect to a whole series of other critical things that define this country? What is the advice of the Senate in this year?

“These are not small issues to be expedited away by some kind of a symbolic timetable, a State of the Union Message. Our advice and consent ought to be weighed just as carefully and as importantly as the impact this choice is going to have on the Court for years to come. This is not the vote of Monday afternoon. This is a vote of history.”
The text of Kerry’s speech is here and, if you can spare some time to hear the real reasons to filibuster Samuel Alito, you can find the video here.