Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Newspapers across the nation oppose Alito for Court,

Urge Senate to Stop his Nomination to the Supreme Court

[SOURCE: IndependentCourt.org]

“NOT GOOD ENOUGH” – BALTIMORE SUN, MARYLAND

  • “The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on elevating Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court were about as instructive for what he did not say as for what he did. In 3 1/2 days of statements and testimony, there was no "smoking gun" revelation, but there was a troubling erosion of confidence and comfort in his responses that warrant a rejection of his nomination… Perhaps Judge Alito is as good as could be expected from a conservative Republican administration, but for a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court and with the prospect that hard-won rights could be diminished, he's not good enough.” Read.


“ALITO WRONG FOR SUPREME COURT” – GRAND FORKS HERALD, NORTH DAKOTA

  • “Alito reads the Constitution and finds more power for the government and fewer rights for individuals. This apparent indifference to individual rights is disturbing. It runs counter to American history, which proves that human rights are won through political and legal struggle. Alito's point of view has implications beyond the hot-button issues that dominated the hearings. For example, he has not been sympathetic to the rights of individuals or interest groups to bring environmental lawsuits. This fits his perceived judicial philosophy, favoring institutions more than individuals. Alito's apparent sympathy for a more powerful executive is especially worrisome in this regard. George Bush has pushed presidential power to levels not imagined by any of his predecessors, and a Supreme Court sympathetic to that position could give him license to go farther.” Read.

“CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS HANGING IN THE BALANCE” – SACRAMENTO BEE, CALIFORNIA

  • “Alito seems willing to go further than the current court in overturning laws passed by Congress. Alito has shown throughout his career that he has a cramped view of congressional power and an expansive view of presidential power. That, surely, is a prime reason why Bush nominated him. Are members of Congress of both parties going to stand up against this corrosive agenda? If not now, when?” Read.

“ALITO NO ES PARA LA SUPREMA CORTE” (ALITO IS NOT FOR THE SUPREME COURT) – LA OPINION, CALIFORNIA

  • “lito has the legal and professional experience to be nominated to the Supreme Court, but he lacks the judicial philosophy that guarantees that the highest court will follow the path of justice for all Americans. Alito, if confirmed, would break the equilibrium and the Court would begin to lean towards a vision that would be prejudicial to individual rights. With regard to Hispanics and the current immigration debate, this could be a disaster. (Translated from the original Spanish.) Read.

“ALITO: EVASIONS AND RESERVATIONS” – ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, MISSOURI

  • [I]n 15 years as a judge on the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Alito compiled a record that is far more conservative than the mild-mannered opinions he expressed in four days in the witness chair. If confirmed, he is likely to join with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, and possibly Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., to form a solid conservative bloc on the court for years to come. There is little doubt that Mr. Alito has the intellectual heft for the high court. Nor is there any question that he is a gracious colleague and a decent man. But evasiveness, however pragmatic it might be, becomes troubling when it segues into disingenuousness. His fuzzy memory about his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, a group notoriously hostile to minority and women's rights, was simply not credible. Much more troubling was his waffling on questions about the powers of the president and reproductive rights. Read.

“NOT FIT FOR THE COURT” – BOSTON GLOBE, MASSACHUSETTS

  • “SAMUEL ALITO tells a moving and very American personal story about the path his immigrant father took to raise a son who would one day be poised to sit on the US Supreme Court. But Judge Alito's judicial philosophy, his written record of court decisions, and his unconvincing, sometimes evasive, answers in his nomination hearings far outweigh the personal appeal. He should not be sent to the Supreme Court, where he could reverse the progress this nation has made toward lifting precisely the kinds of barriers his father struggled to overcome. In four days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Alito appeared contained and well informed. But Americans who were concerned about his views on presidential power, privacy, and minority rights heard little to have those fears allayed.” Read.

“THE JUDGE OF BUSH’S DREAMS” – THE OREGONIAN

  • “As a presidential candidate in 2000, George W. Bush promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would oppose abortion rights and align with the court's two most conservative and out-of-the-mainstream members, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. President Bush has fulfilled that promise with the nomination of Samuel Alito. If senators give Alito a lifetime seat on the divided court, they must acknowledge the consequences of that decision. A vote to confirm Alito is likely to be a vote to increase presidential authority, expand the government's power over individuals, compromise privacy rights and overturn Roe v. Wade.” Read.

“ALITO’S ‘OPEN MIND’” – SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, CALIFORNIA

  • “Unlike Roberts, Alito stopped short of characterizing the 1973 Roe ruling, which established abortion rights for women, as settled law. Instead, under repeated questioning, he merely called it "an important precedent" that should be taken into consideration in future cases… Americans are left to wonder what happened in Alito's life over the past 20 years to reach his current ‘open mind’ on basic matters of privacy and equality -- or whether his real views are being kept locked up for strategic reasons during the confirmation hearings.” Read.

“THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY AT WORK” – NEW YORK TIMES

  • “Both of the offensive theories at work here - that a president's intent in signing a bill trumps the intent of Congress in writing it, and that a president can claim power without restriction or supervision by the courts or Congress - are pet theories of Judge Samuel Alito, the man Mr. Bush chose to tilt the Supreme Court to the right. The administration's behavior shows how high and immediate the stakes are in the Alito nomination, and how urgent it is for Congress to curtail Mr. Bush's expansion of power.” Read.

“ALITO NOMINATION – TIME ISN’T RIGHT” – SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, WASHINGTON

  • “Early in his career, Alito outlined a strategy to erode the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights. That should be a particular concern for this state, with its history of support for women's rights and reproductive rights. Long before al-Qaida, there was Alito, then an assistant to the U.S. Solicitor Ggeneral, writing a 1984 memo proclaiming that government officials should be able to order domestic wiretaps without fear of legal retaliation by their subjects. Almost every worry about the Bush administration goes back to its arrogant, sweeping view of executive powers. There again, one finds Alito. In 1986, as The Washington Post reported, he outlined an idea, picked up occasionally by President Reagan and used frequently by President Bush, of having the executive issue his own view of legislation he signed. Although courts haven't paid much attention, the aim is to give the president more say in how laws passed by Congress are interpreted. Read.
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