Pro-Life Groups Launch Campaigns to Back Filibuster Rules Change

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 20, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Launch Campaigns to Back Filibuster Rules Change Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 20
, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life organizations are mounting advertising and petition campaigns to persuade members of the Senate to support a change in Senate rules preventing filibusters from being used to block votes on President Bush’s pro-life judicial picks.

Focus on the Family Action is launching a campaign in New Hampshire to convince Sen. John Sununu, a pro-life Republican, to back the rules change. Sununu has yet to announce a position on the effort.

"What we have witnessed these last three years is an unprecedented manhandling of Senate tradition," Dr. James Dobson, president of the group, said.

"Never before in 216 years has the Senate employed a filibuster against judicial nominees who clearly have enough support to be confirmed. Senate Democrats are not just filibustering these nominees — they are filibustering democracy itself," Dobson added.

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council Action, joined Dobson’s group in launching the campaign.

"The obstruction of President Bush’s judicial nominees is an affront to the American people and a willful disregard of the Constitution," Perkins said.

"We’ve seen enough nonsense on the federal courts, from judges who demonstrated no mercy for Terri Schiavo [and] no humanity in protecting the practice of partial-birth abortion," the ad says.

Meanwhile, millions of postcards are on their way to the district offices of U.S. Senators coast to coast as part of the "End the Roe Litmus Test" campaign.

Sponsored by the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment and the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the campaign invites Catholics to send a message to their Senators that support for Roe v. Wade should not be used as a litmus test for judicial nominees.

"Abortion advocacy groups have pledged to spend $10 million dollars every year to see that only judges who promise to endorse Roe are confirmed," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse of the USCCB. "Yet even legal scholars who favor legal abortion have said Roe is not good constitutional law."

In January Cardinal William Keeler, chairman of the bishop’s pro-life efforts, wrote to all U.S. Senators urging them not to use a pro-abortion litmus test for nominees.

"By any measure," he said, "support for the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is an impoverished standard for assessing judicial ability."

"Roe v. Wade is bad law, bad medicine, and bad social policy," said Ruse. "No Senator should make a litmus test out of what Justice Blackmun’s former law clerk Edward Lazarus calls ‘one of the most intellectually suspect constitutional decisions of the modern era.’"

Related web sites:
Focus on the Family Action –