GOP threatens the republic

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, April 07, 2005

Radical Republicans want absolute power to appoint Supreme Court justices that will favor corporate interests and the extreme right over the rest of us.

To get it, they plan to use a parliamentary trick they call the "nuclear option" to overturn 200 years of bipartisan checks and balances that have kept the courts fair for centuries.

After eliminating the right to filibuster, Bush and the Republicans would have absolute, unchecked power over all three branches of the federal government for the first time in American history.

While the "nuclear option" is likely to come up in a fight over an Appeals Court nominee, make no mistake, the real targets here are the four Supreme Court seats likely to turn over in the next four years.

Republicans have taken millions of dollars from their corporate backers. Now as payback, they're trying to force through judges who will favor those same corporate interests by overturning laws protecting the environment, civil rights, and workers - laws these companies have been trying to get rid of for years.

Tell you what, let's trade. We'll give up the filibuster, if you give up the Electoral College. Both are a means of protecting minorities, right? Isn't that why we have a representative democracy rather than the real thing? Haven't we always agreed that minorities should be heard and protected from the ignorant masses? Isn't that why we have a constitutional republic and a Supreme Court?

People have to be blind to miss the fact that this administration has centralized more power to the executive branch than any administration in the last century. This is dangerous. The republic is at stake here; we cannot let it fall from within through lack of diligence.

Daniel Hoffay


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