Oct. 18, 2006 - Military Tribunal bill signed (with Snowe's support)
This week President Bush signed the military tribunal bill that was approved by Congress on Sept. 28, the one in which Congress voted to debase the Constitution, to deny habeas corpus rights to "enemy combatants," people designated as such on the President's word alone; to allow the President to set the rules for what kinds of torture is acceptable for agents of the United States Government to inflict on our prisoners; to allow hearsay and/or coerced evidence at military tribunals, to deny defendants the right to see what evidence is being used against them, and to deny defendants the right to face their accusers.
Olympia Snowe did not vote that infamous Thursday, because she was here in Maine attending her aunt's funeral. She could have taken a pass. Instead, she issued a statement that, had she been in Washington, she would have voted in favor of all those bills.
This is the America Olympia Snowe wants us to live in. Is it the America you want to live in?
...And Justice disappeared Thursday, September 28, 2006, when the United States Congress voted to debase the Constitution, to deny habeas corpus rights to "enemy combatants," people designated as such on the President's word alone; when the U.S. Congress voted to allow the President to set the rules for what kinds of torture is acceptable for agents of the United States Government to inflict on our prisoners; when the U.S. Congress voted to allow hearsay evidence at military tribunals, to deny defendants the right to see what evidence is being used against them, and to deny defendants the right to face their accusers...
One Constitution, two federal judges, appointed by two different presidents of different parties. But clearly two different world views, and two different values places on words written more than 200 years ago. Which do you prefer?
Jan. 27, 2006 - Jean's new radio ad blasts Snowe's indecision on Judge Alito's confirmation
The ad aired on Air America in the Portland area (870 AM) until January 31, 2006, when the vote on Judge Alito's confirmation was taken. Click to hear the ad
Text of Ad:
I'm Jean Hay Bright, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. As a long-time pro-choice activist, I'm concerned about Judge Alito's public animosity toward Roe v. Wade, and his dismissive attitude toward women. I'm alarmed that Judge Alito believes the President has the authority to alter or disregard any law he chooses.
Our Constitution establishes a balance of power between the three branches of government. Judge Alito on the Supreme Court presents a clear and present danger to that balance. A President already grasping at power unheard of in our nation's history, and a complicit Supreme Court stacked in the President's favor, does not bode well for the continuation of freedom and democracy in America.
Maine's two Senators refused to say where they stood until Alito's confirmation became publicly assured. Now their votes are simply irrelevant. Even if they ultimately vote the right way, I, for one, will not be applauding a decision made too late to make a difference.
Note: Senator Susan Collins announced her support for Judge Alito Thursday afternoon (Jan. 26, 2006). As of Thursday night, according to Snowe's regional representative Diane Jackson, who represented Snowe at the Maine Women's Lobby forum on Judge Alito's nomination at the USM Lewiston campus, Snowe had not yet made a decision.
Held at the USM Lewiston campus
"A President already grasping at power unheard of in our nation's history, and a complicit Supreme Court stacked in the President's favor, does not bode well for the continuation of freedom and democracy in America."
"Look at the millions of dollars being spent on ads and organized persuasion, on both sides of the Judge Alito issue, to convince Olympia Snowe to vote one way or the other." "...If Olympia Snowe were adamantly pro-choice, as her reputation claims, she would not be on the fence. Her vote would not be up for grabs, as it apparently is, over the confirmation of a judge who has a written and public record of opposition to Roe v. Wade."
Candidate Forum - West Newfield
"If the Supreme Court rules that the President of the United States can issue orders that are automatically lawful by virtue of his position as President, no matter how much or badly they conflict with laws passed by Congress or even provisions in the U.S. Constitution, then how useful is it to know that Judge Alito thinks not even the President is above the law?"
Cumberland County Democratic Committee - Westbrook
"...I think George Bush not only believes he is above the law. He believes he IS the law."
University of Maine at Presque Isle College Democrats
"It appears that Judge Samuel Alito Jr. shares those views about the static nature of the Constitution, which makes him a dangerous man, I think, to have on the U.S. Supreme Court."
PRESQUE ISLE - U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright Saturday criticized Senator Olympia Snowe for her vote Thursday (Nov. 10, 2005) to deny detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, access to federal courts to challenge their long-term detentions. The Dixmont Democrat noted that the habeas corpus vote is just the latest denial of basic human rights by Maine's incumbent Republican Senator, the Republican-controlled Congress and the Bush administration.
"If I were a Senator in this Congress, I would be compelled to vote against Judge Roberts' confirmation as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court."