Update from Sarah Jane, October 5, 2018: Ok. So.
One copy of the FBI report was made available to the 100 Senators, who were allowed up to an hour to review it.
Yes, you read that right.
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin evidently was booted from the room before he could finish his review. He said he would return today to finish looking it over and show his cards at some point after that.
North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp came out as a no.
In doing so, she put her re-election chances in danger. She is a Dem in a state that went big for Trump in 2016. Her constituents had been asking for a yes.
In her statement, which she tweeted yesterday, she said:
“Our actions right now are an important signal to women and girls across the country, and that signal I hope I’m sending is I’ll continue to stand up and for you.”
Her brother, Joel, said of her act: “She may lose. But in the morning, when she’s brushing her teeth, she needs to like the person she sees.”
If you are in North Dakota, please volunteer for her campaign, and tell her why. She really needs to GOTV.
If you can donate to Heitkamp’s campaign, please do so:
Brett Kavanaugh wrote an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal titled, I shit you not, “I am an Independent, Impartial Judge.”
Yeah, that might have worked better if he hadn’t exclusively chosen right-wing media outlets (Fox, WSJ) to get his message out. The Op-Ed was roundly mocked, as it should have been.
As of last night, more than 2,400 law professors had signed a letter stating that Kavanaugh is unfit for SCOTUS:
The National Council of Churches, which is said to be the largest umbrella organization for churches, released a statement demanding that Kavanaugh not be considered for the nation’s highest court:
The Washington Post Editorial Board called for Senators to vote no. More than 30 years have passed since they urged a no vote on a SCOTUS nominee, and that was Robert Bork. See their Op-Ed:
And retired SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens, age 98, who had initially been in favor of Kavanaugh, said that Kavanaugh is no longer a fit. He told the Palm Beach Post:
“At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected,” Stevens said. “I’ve changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability … I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind.”
Full article is here:
Apparently, this has never happened before–no former SCOTUS judge has publicly counseled against the elevation of a nominee.
This has got to sting Kavanaugh personally. For several years, he taught a course at Harvard University on the history of SCOTUS.
Also! Republican Montana Senator Steve Daines will not be in D.C. on Saturday, when the final vote on Kavanaugh will probably take place. He has a standing comittment: His daughter is getting married, and he is walking her down the aisle.
Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) retweeted the news and said this:
This could be nothing. They could just hold the vote open for hours. But still
There was some brief confusion over whether Republican Senator Cory Gardner might step away from his presumed yes vote. Manu Raju later got this comment from him, which he tweeted:
Responding to reports that he’s undecided, Cory Gardner has been and still is supportive of Kavanaugh, spokesman says. “He had the opportunity to review the FBI report tonight. Nothing in the report changed his mind and he remains supportive of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”
Before that tweet appeared, Celeste Pewter had tweeted:
I’ll be upfront: he [Gardner] might be feinting. But the public declaration that he hasn’t made up his mind, is most definitely worth calling about and following up on. Explore EVERY option.
And at the very least, this lets him know you’re watching. You’ll be ready for whatever he does when he’s up for re-election next [in 2020]. The GOP absolutely have the tougher map for Senate Class 2.
Later she said:
For all of you with GOP senators, there are a lot of rumors flying around ATM. Instead of thinking “there’s no point in calling”, recoginze you are in a unique position to yell @ them, and be recorded as a constituent call. At the end of the day, call data still matters.
And BY yelling at them, you’re putting them on notice. The GOP are the ones with the tougher map for Senate Class II.
Senate Class 2 are those Senators who are up for re-election in 2020. Far more Republicans are due than are Democrats. Those Republicans are:
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Susan Collins of Maine
John Cornyn of Texas
Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Steve Daines of Montana
Michael Enzi of Wyoming
Joni Ernst of Iowa
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi
James Inhofe of Oklahoma
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
David Perdue of Georgia
James Risch of Idaho
Pat Roberts of Kansas
Mike Rounds of South Dakota
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dan Sullivan of Arkansas
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
The overall message: Call, and keep urging friends and family to call, especially between now and 10:30 am EST, when the Senate will vote to invoke cloture (this is a table-setting move. It is not the actual floor vote; that will likely follow on Saturday).
We still have a shot of stopping this. As Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of Indivisible, tweeted last night:
Look, the Kavanaugh op-ed is outrageous. But he wouldn’t be writing it if he wasn’t worried that his nomination is in danger. Show up. Speak out. There are at least four Senators still undecided. The next 24 hours are crucial.
If you have Dem Senators who are solid no votes, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) encourages you to use this script, amending to include events from yesterday, several of which I detail above:
Script for bullheaded GOP Senators who are tilting toward yes:
Script for Joe Manchin (only call if you live in West Virginia):
Script for all Senators (but only if you live in their home states, please):
Don’t give up. Don’t despair. There are more of us than them. But we need all hands on deck NOW. Please don’t sit this out. Don’t assume a Justice Kavanaugh can be impeached. We need YOU to stop him. [She’s right, you know.]
If you tweet about your calls, hashtag your tweets with
#ICalledMyReps. @icalledmyreps will boost. Let others know who’s picking up, who to ask for, which numbers have space in their VMs. It’s critical we pool all information possible right now.
Ok, got all that? Now I’m throwing you into a thread by Ben Wikler (@BenWikler) of MoveOn, who has info on protests. All of the below is from his current pinned tweet, which he sent on Oct 2. I have re-edited this to take out events that have gone by.
Check both @Celeste_Pewter’s feed and his feed on Twitter to stay on top of the Kavanaugh situation.
Furious about Kavanaugh? Don’t just sit there. We need your power. The truth is, there’s a LOT you can do. We may only have four days until the final vote, and your voice is needed now. This is a thread about what’s coming, and how you can help. Please follow along and share. 1/
What’s next with Kavanaugh? On Wednesday, McConnell sets wheels in motion by filing for cloture. Senate rules require an intervening day before cloture vote—so that vote will be Friday. Then 30 hours of debate & final confirmation vote as soon as Saturday night. Time is SHORT.
What about the FBI report? WSJ says it could end by Wed. Many potential corroborating witnesses won’t be interviewed—nor Dr. Blasey Ford, nor Kavanaugh. Once background report is updated, only Senators will get to see it. Don’t bet on it to end this fight. [He included this link to a story from The Hill:]
Other than Wed night vigils, what can you do? First: CALL YOUR SENATORS. Call volumes are going through the roof. But unlike w health care, the other side is mobilizing too. Which means your calls are even more vital. 202-224-3121. [He retweeted this message from Liz Ruskin (@lruskin)] Sen.
@lisamurkowski says the volume of calls from Alaskans on Kavanaugh is unprecedented. Deluge is larger than before the health care vote. “All the voicemail boxes are are literally filled within the first hour,” she says.
Call your senators to say no to Kavanaugh—but don’t just call the switchboard. And don’t give up if the line is busy or voicemail box is full. Senators have lots of offices. Find them all at http://contactingcongress.org . Here’s Susan Collins, to take one totally random example: [He included a screenshot which I can’t reproduce]
Senators employ staff assistants to answer the phone, check if callers are real constituents, then tally their positions. How many support Kavanaugh? How many oppose? Most offices circulate the call tallies to entire staff + senator every day. Your calls are counted. They count.
If you don’t like talking on the phone, or it’s tough for you to call, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. One quick thing to do is DM
@resistbot or go to https://resist.bot or text “resist” to 50409. It’ll help you write a message & send it as a fax or letter.
You know what’s even better than calling/tweeting/faxing/writing? Stopping by your senator’s offices in person. This is the week to do it. Grab a friend or ten and stop by on Wed, Thu, & Fri. Find local address @ http://contactingcongress.org . Staff are friendly! Make a plan & go!
There’s a lot you can do from whatever state you live in. But if you’re within driving or flying or kayaking distance of the Capitol, I have a request: COME TO DC. There’s a TON to do, led by
@womensmarch & @CPDAction. To plug in, sign up w this form:
[Leaving out a tweet that’s now obsolete]
Speaking of heroes. Remember when
@AdyBarkan met @JeffFlake on a plane & asked him to be a hero? Remember @AnaMariaArchil2 (in a #BeAHero shirt!) & @mgallagher822 talking to Flake on the elevator last week? Learn to do what they did. Trainings 3x/daily if you come to DC.
The atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building in DC has been renamed the People’s Atrium. It’s where folks are gathering. Bird-dogging trainings are happening daily at 8:30am, noon, and 4pm. On Tuesday, bird-doggers spoke to more than *60 senators.* Come help reach them all.
Want to get trained as a bird-dogger? It’s a skill that will last you a lifetime.
@UltraViolet is coordinating the thrice-daily trainings. Help them help you by signing up at advance here: https://act.weareultraviolet.org/survey/oct-1-5-protest-halls-us-senate/ … … and follow @mcbyrne for realtime updates.
If you’re in DC, bring some food and coffee to the folks in the People’s Atrium. And each day at 10am and 5:30pm, head out with the folks from your state to visit your home-state senators’ offices to register your feelings about Kavanaugh with a drop-by.
FRIDAY, as on Wed & Thu, there’ll be 8:30/12/4 bird-dogging trainings, 10am and 5:30pm DC office walk-ins—and probably a lot more, still in development. Ditto for Saturday. If the Senate votes, you know we’ll be protesting. So make a plan to get your butt to DC this weekend.
Is there anything else you can do to stop Kavanaugh? Yes. There is more you can do to stop Kavanaugh. Pull out your credit card. To fight a justice who supports unlimited money in politics, time to put some money into politics. It’s a stick, it’s a carrot, & it’s organizer fuel.
The fund for Susan Collins’s 2020 Democratic Senate opponent—whoever that might be—is up to $1,787,311 in pledges from 63,023 people… to be collected ONLY IF Collins votes yes on Kavanaugh. Give to it here. And spread the word. [He included this link:]
Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, was undeclared on Kavanaugh. Last Friday morning, he came out against. For this act of bravery, he’s certain to be targeted by the right. So we’ve raised nearly $100k to show him we have his back. Chip in here: [He included this link:]
The organizing at the Capitol and around the country requires energy and sacrifice. It also costs money. Here’s a fund specifically to support
@CPDAction to organize with folks at the Capitol, like the women who confronted Flake in the elevator. Donate! [He included this link:]
There are so many groups doing amazing work in this fight. Support & follow the ones listed above, plus
@NARAL @WeDemandJustice @civilrightsorg @NAACP_LDF @AFJustice @nwlc @CAPAction @peoplefor @mfalpac @mainepeople @SEIU @AFTunion @HRC @MALDEF @NEAToday & many more. Thx to all.
And no matter how *this* fight ends, the fight continues. There’s a midterm election coming up that could determine what happens to another SCOTUS seat, or two, or three. (Or none, let’s hope.) Sign up to canvass for Dems at http://MoveOn.org/waves .
And while you’re committing to make a difference, take a sec to sign up to volunteer during the last weekend of this election at—where else?—http://thelastweekend.org , a joint effort by all your favorite orgs to turn out every blue vote we possibly can.
BTW, have I mentioned that Maine is important right now? It is SO important. Other important states: Alaska, West Virginia, Arizona, and let’s throw in Nevada because Dean Heller should be held accountable. Call your friends & relatives in these states, and ask them to speak up.
Here’s the underlying message of this giant thread. You have power. For the next four days, you have power. If all of us wield that power, we have a chance to win a fight with impossibly vast stakes. Don’t just scroll through Twitter. Show up. Fight back. The time, folks, is now.
So, you heard Celeste and Ben. The answer, as always, is to call, and urge friends and family to call.
If you have not called your Senators yet, now is the time. If you’ve called before, call again.
Only call your own Senators. Urge your friends and family members to call their Senators.
And yes, you have to pick up the phone and call, and I’m serious about only calling your own Senators.
Be polite. Always, be polite. Practice what you want to say before you say it. Get it right, master your emotions, then call.
This is as serious as it’s ever been, people. Only a large, loud outcry from us has a chance of stopping this nomination.
Please honor the bravery of Dr Christine Blasey Ford by making those calls, and then urge friends and family to do the same.
Lastly, let me repeat: All of this has been exhausting and enraging. While Flake successfully demanding an extension of no more than one week to let the FBI do additional work on Kavanaugh’s background check is a good thing, Kavanaugh could still get confirmed.
Continue to call every day, and continue to urge friends and family to do so. But please prepare yourself for the possibility that Kavanaugh proceeds.
You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.
You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter
You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.
You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.
You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:
You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18
And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight: