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May 11, 2009 - Johnsen Confirmation, Hate Crimes & Tobacco Prevention

Confirm Dawn Johnsen as Head of the Office of Legal Counsel



On January 5th, 2009, President Obama nominated Dawn Johnsen to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Johnsen is supremely qualified for this post. She has had diverse professional experiences in the legal field, including a five year stint at the Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton Administration. Her fitness for this position has been lauded by legal experts and officials from across the political and ideological spectrum. However, Johnsen's nomination is in jeopardy because of her outspoken opposition to torture and support for reproductive rights. 

Take Action: Contact your Senators and urge them to encourage Senate leadership to schedule a vote quickly on Dawn Johnsen's nomination. Also urge them to oppose a filibuster and vote in favor of Johnsen's confirmation. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121, or you can send an e-mail by entering your zip code. For more information, contact Program Associate Jessica Weiser at 202.387.2800.


Senate: Support Vital Hate Crimes Prevention Laws!


Current hate crime statutes offer no federal protection against bias motivated crimes rooted in sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability. The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909) would include these categories and permit federal authorities to help investigate and prosecute cases when local authorities are unable or willing to do so. This bill was passed in the House of Representatives on April 29th and your help is needed to achieve final passage.
 
Take Action: Contact your Senators and urge them to support the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121. You can also send an e-mail by entering your zip code. For more information, please contact Legislative Assistant Jason Fenster at 202.387.2800.


Keep Cigarettes Out of the Hands of Children!



Tobacco products kill more than 400,000 Americans each year, indicating an alarming epidemic of addiction and disease. Currently, the FDA has the authority to regulate the safety of everyday items such as cold medicine and cookies, but has no authority over tobacco. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (S. 982) would grant the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products by preventing companies from adding more deadly and addictive ingredients, prohibiting manufacturing of candy-flavored cigarettes, preventing tobacco sales to children and limiting advertising designed to lure children into a deadly habit. The House passed the bill with overwhelming support and action is needed to ensure Senate passage to help protect and save lives from the harmful effects of tobacco.

Take Action: Contact your Senators and urge them to vote for the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (S. 982). The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121. You can alsosend an e-mail by entering your zip code. For more information, please contact Legislative Assistant Jason Fenster at 202.387.2800.



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