Will California Democrats Investigate Jay Bybee?

Note: I work for the Courage Campaign

Now that the California Democratic Party has gone on record as supporting an investigation into Judge Jay Bybee for his role in authorizing Bush’s torture program, it’s time to put that resolution to work.

Today the Courage Campaign has joined David Dayen and other California activists in a campaign to pressure California Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee to investigate Judge Bybee as a first step toward his impeachment. The six members are Howard Berman, Zoe Lofgren, Linda Sánchez, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman and Maxine Waters.

Hundreds of Courage Campaign members have made calls today. Several have reported that Adam Schiff supports an investigation, while the other five are giving polite but noncommittal responses.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to call at least one of the six today. Even if you don’t live in their district, as members of the Judiciary Committee they are the folks who can begin the process of holding Judge Bybee accountable, and as such they’re responsible to all Californians, not just their own constituents.

Below the flip is the email we sent to our members.

Dear Robert,

You did it — the California Democratic Party, pushed by grassroots and netroots activists, passed the Bybee resolution last week. Now let’s take the fight to Congress.

Your signatures in support of the resolution to demand Congress investigate Judge Jay Bybee — author of one of President Bush’s horrific torture memos and now a federal judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco — helped convince the California Democratic Party to pass that resolution at their convention last weekend.

We cannot stop there. Our work to remove Judge Bybee from the bench and hold him accountable has only just begun.

That point was driven home in a statement Judge Bybee released on Tuesday, where he defended the memo he wrote as a “good-faith analysis of the law.” You and I know it was no such thing. But that is going to be Judge Bybee’s defense, and he hopes it will help Congress resist the growing pressure to investigate and ultimately impeach him for his actions in support of torture.

The Courage Campaign believes Judge Bybee must be removed from office. So do the New York Times, MoveOn.org, People for the American Way and the Center for Constitutional Rights. The first step in that process is for the House Judiciary Committee to vote to launch an investigation, which is necessary before articles of impeachment can be drawn up.

There are six California Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. Please call at least one of those Democrats right now and tell them to launch an investigation into Judge Bybee. No matter what district you live in — on an issue like torture — they represent all of us:


California netroots activist David Dayen has been one of the many activists leading the fight to hold Judge Bybee accountable. As he wrote at Calitics, a leading progressive blog covering California politics:

“Judge Bybee’s presence on the 9th Circuit disgraces the federal bench and saps at our moral authority in the world. Congress has a duty to step in and impeach him. We now have this (California Democratic Party) resolution as a tool.  Let’s use it to pry open the Congress and provide the opening of some accountability for these heinous acts committed in our name.”

We could not agree more strongly. It’s our job as California progressives to ensure our representatives do their job and uphold the rule of law. The more calls we generate, the more likely it is that the House Judiciary Committee will take action.

No matter where you live, please call one of the six California Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee right now and tell them to vote to investigate Judge Bybee:


One step at a time, we will make sure Bush’s torture advisors are brought to justice. Thanks for helping bring all of us closer to that goal.

Robert Cruickshank

Public Policy Director, Courage Campaign

One thought on “Will California Democrats Investigate Jay Bybee?”

  1. …of the premier jobs in the nation no problemo.

    The answer to your question is, ‘No…’.

    The state and this nation needs a real revolution not ‘change we can believe in…’

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