Block out 10 minutes. Call your senator. Tell her/him to reject Judge Samuel Alito. Then call your family, friends and co-workers and ask they do the same. It is a patriotic duty. It is urgent. It is effective.

There was ample evidence in the Senate hearings that Alito does not uphold the Constitution’s separation of powers, a core democratic concept designed to blunt dictatorship. Nevertheless, in a party line vote, the GOP-controlled Judiciary Committee voted to send the nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.

The hearings revealed Alito places the president above the law, creating a dictator. Key testimony demonstrated that Alito supports spying on Americans, sanction of torture, and detention of U.S. citizens without trial, charges or access to a lawyer. It is chilling.

If the Senate confirms Alito’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, women face the real threat of a return to “barefoot and pregnant” and back-alley abortions. Women’s reproductive rights, rights to a job, rights on the job and rights in society at large are in peril.

More than a century of struggle to expand constitutional and democratic protections, marching toward ending racial discrimination and racist acts, will be set back.

With Alito’s pro-corporate thumb tipping the scales of justice, workplace safety can become a relic of a bygone era when corporations enjoyed unbridled power.

Efforts to restore clean water and clean air, maybe the most democratic of inalienable rights endowed by the creator, would be curtailed, hamstrung or halted.

The good news is, for the first time in 90 years, not one minority party committee member bowed to the administration. The Democrats on the committee were united in rejecting this extremist nomination.

Pressure on senators from the folks at home can still turn the tide. Media spin doesn’t vote. Voters do. This is an early vote in the 2006 elections, a vote to restore the rule of law in our country.

And if Alito is confirmed, it powerfully underscores the importance of ending Republican control of Congress on Election Day, Nov. 7.

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