Government & Politics | January 30, 2006
Douglas Drenkow, Editor of "Progressive
Posted in "OpEdNews",
From Left Field", & "GordonTalk"
Listen very carefully within
the marbled, storied corridors of the Capitol and you're apt to
hear one question above all whispered from senatorial lips to
senatorial ears: "Give me one good reason I should
filibuster Samuel Alito and not simply allow him to be confirmed
for the seat being vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme
Court? Why risk the majority's wrath, their threat to
violate the rules of the Senate and exercise the Nuclear
Fair enough. I'll give you not
just one but ten good reasons for Democrats, Independents, and
moderate Republicans to stand tall and reject this nomination,
pandering to those far to the right of the mainstream (Source: SaveTheCourt.org):
Alito has supported extremist positions overall.
will be no one to the right of Sam Alito on this Court."
Jonathan Turley, law professor who supported John Roberts
but opposes Sam Alito
Alito's dissents are more
conservative than those of even fellow Republican judges 91% of
Alito's dissents argue against
individual rights 84% of the time.
Alito has been criticized by
many of his fellow judges for "ignoring, abandoning, or
overruling precedent" and for "disregard of
established principles of stare decisis."
Alito testified that the
meaning of the Constitution should be interpreted strictly in
accord with its text and the "meaning someone would have
taken 'from the text' at the time of its adoption"; a
position that The Oregonian characterized as an "18th
century view" that could "roll back many hard-fought
federal protections that Americans enjoy today."
Alito has opposed "one person, one vote."
Alito wrote that he disagreed
with Supreme Court decisions on reapportionment that established
the "one person, one vote" principle inherent in equal
Alito has opposed the First Amendment separation of church and
Alito ruled that a child
evangelism group was discriminated against by a school district
that did not allow it to distribute and post materials in
Alito voted to allow group
prayer at school-sponsored graduation ceremonies; O'Connor and a
majority of the Supreme Court struck down a similar policy.
Alito supported city-sponsored
religious displays; in a similar case, the Supreme Court, with
Justice O'Connor in the majority, ruled otherwise.
Alito has opposed a womans right to choose.
Alito wrote: "The
Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."
Alito upheld in Planned
Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey a law
requiring a woman to notify her husband before obtaining an
abortion; Sandra Day O'Connor and a majority of the Supreme
Court disagreed, stating "a State may not give to a man the
kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their
Alito has opposed remedies for victims of discrimination.
Alito as an applicant for a job
in Edwin Meese's Justice Department proudly cited his membership
in an alumni group notorious for opposing admission of women and
minorities to his alma mater.
Alito repeated wrote dissenting
opinions putting up barriers to victims of discrimination
particularly women and people of color to bring their cases
to trial, let alone to prevail; one court majority went so far
as to write that Alito's view would have "eviscerated"
federal anti-bias laws.
Alito has sided against 75% of
people raising discrimination claims and against immigrants in
seven out of eight cases before him.
Alito as a federal judge agreed
that American citizens could be kept off juries in some cases
simply because they spoke Spanish.
Alito as a federal appeals
court judge argued that discrimination cases should not even
reach a jury if an employer claimed to have picked the
"best candidate," even if the employer exercised
conscious racial bias; the other judges in the case rejected his
reasoning as having the potential to gut legal protections
against racial discrimination.
Alito has opposed workers, consumers, and small business hurt by
Alito applied legal doctrines
inconsistently in various discrimination cases, consistently
siding with powerful corporate interests against such victims as
disabled or injured workers.
Alito has "seldom
sided" with consumers suing big business.
Alito as judge ruled against a
small business hurt by the anti-competitive practices of a large
corporation that violated the Sherman Antitrust Act; the other
judges in the case overruled him.
Alito has opposed environmental protection.
Alito voted to make it more
difficult for citizens to sue alleged polluters under the Clean
Water Act; his reasoning was soundly rejected by the Supreme
Court in another case.
Alito as a government lawyer
and as a federal judge tried to limit the power of Congress to
apply the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which gives the
federal government the authority to regulate activities within
and between states, as to protect the environment with pollution
controls or the Endangered Species Act; the Supreme Court will
soon hear cases that could well render the Clean Water Act
Alito has opposed laws to protect society from violent crime as
well as Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of the accused.
as a government lawyer and as a federal judge tried to limit the
power of Congress to apply the Commerce Clause of the
Constitution, as to regulate the distribution of machine guns.
rejected claims by an African American that he had been denied a
fair trial by an all-white jury from which black jurors had been
excluded because of their race; a higher court reversed the
ruling and criticized Alito's analysis as absurd.
as Assistant Solicitor General argued that it was acceptable for
police officers to shoot in the back an unarmed 15-year-old boy
fleeing the scene of a burglary; not only the Supreme Court but
also every police group that acted as friends of the court in
the case rejected Alito's argument.
Alito has opposed Fourth Amendment restraints on abuse of power.
Alito upheld the strip search
of a mother and her ten-year-old daughter, unnamed in a search
warrant; Michael Chertoff, then judge, now head of the
Department of Homeland Security, warned that would turn the
Constitution's search warrant requirement into little more than
a "rubber stamp."
as judge upheld video surveillance by the FBI without a warrant.
Alito in the Solicitor
General's office argued that Cabinet officials are entitled to
immunity from legal liability for authorizing illegal wiretaps
of Americans in America; the Supreme Court rejected his
And the Number One reason to
reject Samuel A. Alito for the Supreme Court:
1. Alito on the Supreme
Court would effectively hand George W. Bush and each of his
successors as president, from either or any party virtually
And what could be more "extraordinary
circumstances" worthy of filibuster than that?
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