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Keep Calling Your Senators to Oppose Terrible Judicial Nominees (Not Just SCOTUS)

Keep calling your senators to oppose terrible judicial nominees (not just those for the Supreme Court of the United States).

 

Team Trump’s assault on the judicial branch through nominating terrible far-right candidates hasn’t gotten much attention on this blog because it’s a slow-moving, ongoing crisis.

 

One Thing You Can Do tries to focus on just that–one thing you can do every day to push back against Trump. Sticking rigidly to one thing has proven increasingly difficult as the Trump administration has aged, but we’ve mostly managed it. The judges issue has suffered the most from this practice.

 

Mitch McConnell is not limiting his manipulations to SCOTUS. He deliberately held open dozens of vacant judgeships under Obama and is frantically shoving as many nominees through as he can during the current Congress.

 

This is extra-disturbing because with the GOP in Congressional control, it’s the judicial branch that’s saved us from many of the worst excesses of Trump.

 

Cramming the courts full of young Trump appointees, all of whom receive lifetime appointments, threatens to warp our judicial system and pervert justice for decades to come.

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that most of these bad nominees are getting through on party-line votes.

 

We wrote about this once before after seeing ads on CNN that urged Republicans to support McConnell’s scheming. His most recent desperate move, which ended in the eleventh-hour withdrawal of a nominee who had racist writings in his past, reminded us we should write another post that you can bookmark and revisit.

 

First, know that as long as the GOP has control of Congress under Trump, they are trying to force through far-right nominees, several of whom are seriously problematic and some of whom are unqualified (seriously, they’ve tried to push through people who got an ‘unqualified’ rating from the American Bar Association).

 

The most recent failed nominee, Ryan Bounds, was an extra-insane situation because he was from Oregon, and that state’s senators had both refused to return their ‘blue slips’ on the nominee.

 

That means that Bounds had not earned the support of either Senator from Oregon.

 

In the past, if even one Senator withheld a blue slip, that ended a judicial nominee’s candidacy. McConnell was determined to steam ahead with Bounds in the absence of both blue slips, which has never happened in the history of the Senate.

 

The only reason Bounds was stopped is a GOP Senator, who had seen the racist writings, refused to support him. McConnell, realizing he did not have the votes to confirm, withdrew.

 

So, how to stay on top of the judicial nominee crisis? First, get on Twitter if you’re not already and follow:

 

@civilrightsorg

 

@DSenFloor

 

@cspan

 

The first will alert you to bad nominees. The other two will tell you when they’re headed to the floor.

 

Also follow @Celeste_pewter if you aren’t already. She is on top of bad nominees and will alert you to them as they appear.

 

Second, check this link and see if one of your Senators is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (You’ll have to scroll down for the membership.)

 

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov

 

If you have a Senator on the committee, then it’s extra-important that you call to oppose bad nominees.

 

You can also check the committee’s Nominations page to learn about what’s in progress on that front:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations

 

You should call both your Senators to oppose, but it’s crucial to call members of the committee early and often, in hopes of stopping bad candidates from advancing to a floor vote.

 

We can’t write you a blanket script because each bad nominee is bad in his or her own way. We can teach you to compose your own, however.

 

In checking the Twitter accounts listed above, look for:

 

The rating the nominee has received from the American Bar Association. If the person is unqualified, say so. If McConnell is rushing the nominee through so fast that the ABA hasn’t had time to issue a rating, say that, and demand that nothing go forward until the ABA can give a rating.

 

Whether or not one or both of the nominee’s home Senators has returned a blue slip. If anyone refuses, say so, and cite that as a reason to oppose.

 

If the nominee has hesitated to affirm bedrock rulings such as Brown vs Board of Education, Griswold vs Connecticut, Roe vs Wade, etc. Some nominees have given alarmingly muddled and evasive answers to questions along these lines. The only acceptable answer is ‘yes, these landmark cases were correctly decided.’

 

If civil rights and reproductive rights orgs say, flatly, that ‘Nominee X sucks and should not be on the federal bench for life,’ believe them and act accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Protect the Environment · Public Education · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Uncategorized

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS Event Between Monday July 9 and Friday, July 13, 2018

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS event between Monday, July 9, and Friday, July 13, 2018.

 

Team Trump intends to announce the name of its Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) nominee on Monday, July 9, 2018.

 

A team of organizations, headed by the good folks at Indivisible, have planned a week-long series of actions to protest the nominee, who will no doubt be a hard-right extremist.

 

See the website below to find an event near you:

http://savescotus.indivisible.org

 

 

Download the #SaveSCOTUS toolkit, which includes tips on how to plan a local #SaveSCOTUS event:

https://savescotus.indivisible.org/toolkit/

 

 

Visit Indivisible’s main website:

https://www.indivisible.org

 

 

Donate to the Indivisible Project:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/indivisibleproject?refcode=homepage

 

 

Like the Indivisible Guide on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/

 

 

Follow the Indivisible Guide on Twitter:

@IndivisibleTeam

Action Alerts · Call Your House Rep · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Uncategorized

Call Your House Reps and Ask Them to Support Net Neutrality BEFORE June 11, 2018

Call your House Reps and ask them to support Net Neutrality before June 11, 2018, when the FCC can roll it back. Also, call your state legislators and ask them to pass legislation protect net neutrality, too.

 

After much struggle, the Senate voted 52-47 in May 2018 to overturn the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and preserve rules upholding net neutrality, which prevent internet service providers from charging more for faster Internet speeds, and prevent them from blocking access to websites.

 

Unfortunately, the fight isn’t over. The future of net neutrality now rests with the House of Representatives, where it has less support.

 

That’s where you come in. You need to call your House Rep and make it clear that you want him or her to uphold net neutrality.

 

Celeste Pewter has been all over this for months now. Here’s her script on the topic. Remember: Congressfolk are back in their home districts until June 5, 2018.

 

 

Pewter also points out that it’s important to ask your state legislators to pass legislation that protects and enshrines net neutrality, as Oregon did in April 2018. Here’s her script on that:

Picture

 

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you can support her in other ways.

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

Pewter founded The Road to 2018, an organization devoted to defending Democratic Senators who are vulnerable and up for re-election this year. See our post on it:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/02/25/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators/

 

Subscribe to Pewter’s peerless newsletter, It’s Time To Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

More background on net neutrality:

 

Read stories on the Senate’s vote to uphold net neutrality:

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/387985-senate-votes-to-save-net-neutrality-rules

 

Here also is the I Called My Reps rundown on net neutrality and why we need it:

http://icalledmyreps.weebly.com/net-neutrality.html

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Call Your State Legislators · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality

Call Your Senators and State Legislators to Defend Net Neutrality TODAY IS THE FCC ROLLBACK DEADLINE, FOLKS

Call your MoCs and defend the principle of net neutrality, which ensures equal access to the Internet for all. The Federal Communications Commission could move to start repeal on April 23, 2018 (TODAY! So! Call if you haven’t called yet, dammit!).

 

We at OTYCD have written about defending net neutrality many times in the past. The current urgency stems from the FCC’s vote to repeal it earlier this year. We have until April 23, 2018, and then the agency can embark on the rollback.

 

Celeste Pewter (who you should be following at @Celeste_Pewter) did a good overview of the situation recently on Twitter. We are reproducing her April 4 tweets here:

 

Let’s continue to make a strong push for at the federal level. I’m alarmed we’ve stopped talking about it. Here’s a recap: A) Markey’s [Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey] petition has 50 supporters. He needs one more. B) Congress returns on the 9th. C) The FCC rollback happens on 04/23.

 

If Markey’s petition passes the Senate, TBD if it can pass the House. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Script:

 

At the same time, states are trying to think of ways to pass their own laws. IS your state onboard? If you live in a state like CT, are you aware your bill was defeated? Are you calling to protest? (CC: )

 

She included a link to a Gizmodo story on the Connecticut situation: https://gizmodo.com/connecticut-republicans-kill-net-neutrality-bill-throug-1824280826

 

Here’s a script to either ask your state electeds to introduce Net Neutrality legislation, or vote in favor. The world isn’t going to end on April 23rd, but it’s important we encourage our electeds to act on when it’s a fresh political issue.

 

 

We have 19 days before the FCC rolls back . Mark your calendars for April 23rd. Spread the word. Act on both the state and federal level. Let’s make sure Chairman Pai doesn’t get the satisfaction of winning.

 

 

For the reasons Pewter cites, we at OTYCD will devote one weekday post to defending Net Neutrality this week, next week, and on Monday April 23, 2018.

 

Please call your senators. If they’re Dems or Indies, thank them for supporting Markey’s bill. If they’re Rs and they’re not Susan Collins of Maine, ask your Senators to get on board.

 

We only need one Republican senator to join Collins for Markey’s bill to succeed.

 

As for state legislative efforts–An April 4, 2018 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) said that 28 states had introduced legislation requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to uphold net neutrality or aspects of it.

 

The report included an alphabetical list, by state, of net neutrality bills across the country. Find your state by scrolling down:

http://www.ncsl.org/ncsl-in-dc/publications-and-resources/net-neutrality-legislation-in-states.aspx

 

If your state legislature is on the case or has already passed a good bill, call your state senator and state house rep to thank them.

 

If your state has tried and failed, ask your state legislators to try again. If your state hasn’t done anything to protect net neutrality, ask your state legislators to step up.

 

Here also is a February 2018 Ars Technica piece on state efforts to defend net neutrality:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/to-kill-net-neutrality-fcc-might-have-to-fight-more-than-half-of-us-states/

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Call Your State Legislators · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Senate Bills, Federal

Call Your Senators and State Legislators to Defend Net Neutrality (Yes, Again), AND While Talking to Your Senators, Demand They Protect Mueller and Rosenstein (Yes, Again)

Call your senators and state legislators and defend the principle of net neutrality, which ensures equal access to the Internet for all. The Federal Communications Commission could move to start repeal on April 23, 2018.

Also, while talking to your senators, demand that they move to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. 

 

We at OTYCD have written about defending net neutrality many times in the past. The current urgency stems from the FCC’s vote to repeal it earlier this year. We have until April 23, 2018, and then the agency can embark on the rollback.

 

A note: Scroll down a ways if you want to jump to the information about demanding protection for Mueller and Rosenstein.

 

Celeste Pewter (who you should be following at @Celeste_Pewter) did a good overview of the situation recently on Twitter. We are reproducing her April 4 tweets here:

 

Let’s continue to make a strong push for at the federal level. I’m alarmed we’ve stopped talking about it. Here’s a recap: A) Markey’s [Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey] petition has 50 supporters. He needs one more. B) Congress returns on the 9th. C) The FCC rollback happens on 04/23.

 

If Markey’s petition passes the Senate, TBD if it can pass the House. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Script:

 

At the same time, states are trying to think of ways to pass their own laws. IS your state onboard? If you live in a state like CT, are you aware your bill was defeated? Are you calling to protest? (CC: )

 

She included a link to a Gizmodo story on the Connecticut situation: https://gizmodo.com/connecticut-republicans-kill-net-neutrality-bill-throug-1824280826

 

Here’s a script to either ask your state electeds to introduce Net Neutrality legislation, or vote in favor. The world isn’t going to end on April 23rd, but it’s important we encourage our electeds to act on when it’s a fresh political issue.

 

 

We have just days before the FCC rolls back . Mark your calendars for April 23rd. Spread the word. Act on both the state and federal level. Let’s make sure Chairman Pai doesn’t get the satisfaction of winning.

 

 

For the reasons Pewter cites, we at OTYCD will devote one weekday post to defending Net Neutrality this week, next week, and on Monday April 23, 2018.

 

Please call your senators. If they’re Dems or Indies, thank them for supporting Markey’s bill. If they’re Rs and they’re not Susan Collins of Maine, ask your Senators to get on board.

 

We only need one Republican senator to join Collins for Markey’s bill to succeed.

 

As for state legislative efforts–An April 4, 2018 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) said that 28 states had introduced legislation requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to uphold net neutrality or aspects of it.

 

The report included an alphabetical list, by state, of net neutrality bills across the country. Find your state by scrolling down:

http://www.ncsl.org/ncsl-in-dc/publications-and-resources/net-neutrality-legislation-in-states.aspx

 

If your state legislature is on the case or has already passed a good bill, call your state senator and state house rep to thank them.

 

If your state has tried and failed, ask your state legislators to try again. If your state hasn’t done anything to protect net neutrality, ask your state legislators to step up.

 

Here also is a February 2018 Ars Technica piece on state efforts to defend net neutrality:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/to-kill-net-neutrality-fcc-might-have-to-fight-more-than-half-of-us-states/

 

Now the demand to call your senators and demand protection for Mueller and Rosenstein. Again.

 

This is a reaction to Mitch McConnell’s evident decision to stop the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act from proceeding to the Senate Floor.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), who is perennially quick on the draw with this stuff, laid out why this is bad and why we need to scream about this, specifically, in a series of April 17 tweets:

 

All, please pay attention to this re: protection for Mueller. Remember, Senate Judiciary is taking up the bill on Thursday. But if this is McConnell’s stance, it’s going to have trouble making it to the floor. Please call your Senators again, particularly GOP ones.

 

Call your Senators and protest. Script in TL. Seriously, all. Not kidding about this. If we don’t have a loud response now, then we’re basically letting the GOP know it’s okay to do this. And they will. Over and over.

 

If we don’t push back now, we’d also be setting the groundwork for the GOP to give a collective shrug, if/when Trump does decide to fire . Let your Senators know in no uncertain terms how NOT okay McConnell’s decision is. Amended script TK.

 

And here is her amended script:

 

 

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you can support her in other ways.

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

Pewter founded The Road to 2018, an organization devoted to defending Democratic Senators who are vulnerable and up for re-election this year. See our post on it:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/02/25/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators/

 

Subscribe to Pewter’s peerless newsletter, It’s Time To Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools

Read The Normal Person’s Guide to Internet Security

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

Read The Normal Person’s Guide to Internet Security, a straightforward guide to some basic things you can do to safeguard yourself online. 

You will remember we squawked as loudly and as quickly as we could about HR Res. 86, which promised to let Internet Service Providers (ISPs) collect information on where you go online and sell it to marketers and other third parties. (You won’t be surprised to learn that it and its Senate counterpart bill were entirely and solely sponsored by Republicans.)

Unfortunately that bill passed Congress and Trump signed it into law. Many state legislators are at work on state-level solutions to protect you, but in the meantime, have a look at The Normal Person’s Guide to Internet Security and see what else you can do to defend yourself.

The guide is essentially Online Privacy 101 and does not pretend to be otherwise. If you’ve already implemented two-step authentication on all your devices and favorite web sites, and have already installed ad blockers, etc. etc., this is probably too elemental for you. But for the rest of us, it’s at least a good refresher-cum-checklist, if not a decent introduction to concepts we should all master.

Read The Normal Person’s Guide to Internet Security (Warning–the URL contains a NSFW word, so you may want to wait till you get home to look at it):

https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/guide/internet-security/?utm_source=WTF+Just+Happened+Today%3F&utm_campaign=f3b55c952c-Day_80_Complicit_4_9_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9813b73b1a-f3b55c952c-158473581

 

Follow its author, Matt Kiser, on Twitter:

@Matt_Kiser

Call Your State Legislators · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality

Urge Your State Legislators to Protect Your Privacy on the Internet

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

 

Call and email your state legislators and ask them to create laws that will protect your privacy on the Internet.

 

Earlier, we urged you to call your house reps and ask them to vote against H.R. Res 86, which, if passed, would gut consumer privacy protections online. (We’re sure you won’t be surprised to know the bill was entirely sponsored by Republicans.) Well, it passed, and Trump signed it.

 

Now we must turn to our state legislators to protect us from those who would harvest our data and sell it.

 

Some state legislatures are already on the case. Illinois is working on a European-style “right to know” law that would tell customers what information search engines and social media platforms are gathering on them, and who they’re selling it to. Minnesota is mulling a law that would stop Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from selling consumer information without written permission. Massachusetts state senators just introduced a bill similar to Minnesota’s.

 

The first step in asking your state legislators to pass laws protecting your online privacy is knowing who they are.

 

Find your state senator and house rep here, as well as your state attorney general:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org/

 

 

Then call or email them and ask them to pass laws that protect consumer privacy online, assuming they aren’t already doing that. If they are, tell them that you support their efforts, and ask what you can do to help make them law.

 

 

Sample script: “Hello, I am <Firstname Lastname from town, zip code>. I am contacting you to ask you to write, support, and pass laws that will protect <state name> consumers’ online privacy. As you know, Trump recently signed a law that allows Internet Service Providers to harvest information about their users’ online movements and sell it to third parties. I would like you and your colleagues to consider bills like those being discussed in Minnesota and Massachusetts, which would not let ISPs sell someone’s data without their written permission. Illinois is also considering a bill that would force search engines and social media platforms to tell consumers what data they’re gathering, and who they’re selling it to. Laws like these would do much to protect our privacy online. Thank you.”

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read about the states’ reaction to the passage of HR Res 86:

 

 

Read about the efforts in the Illinois and Minnesota state legislatures to protect their residents’ online privacy:

Now that the US federal government doesn’t care about internet privacy, states are stepping in