Comments on Alito Hearings
After three days of questions and two days of opinions from those who oppose and favor Alito's confirmation, here are a few comments and statements:
"We need to hear a voice for civil rights. This nomination could turn the court in a way that would take away any balance."
-Bob Klein, a Unitarian minister in Little Rock, Arkansas
Alito's nomination is the first Supreme Court pick that Unitarian-Universalists have opposed in the organizations more than 40-year history.
"Samuel Alito consistently refused to answer thoughtful, fair questions on whether he supports the values of freedom of privacy for women as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. Alito confirmed that in 1985 he endorsed a legal philosophy that the Constitution does not protect the right to choose, but refused to state his current legal and judicial philosophy on the issue. He said nothing this week to lead Americans to believe that he still doesn't hold these views," Keenan said. "As he evaded Roe-related questions from multiple senators, Alito gave full answers to questions on other legal issues and cited some as settled law. But Alito steadfastly refused to acknowledge Roe as settled law and even mischaracterized the constitutional foundation of important reproductive rights cases. It is clear that Americans who value freedom and privacy cannot support confirming him to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court."
-Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
The Board of Chicago Foundation for Women -- one of the largest women's funds in the world -- voted to oppose the nomination of Judge Alito for the first time in its history. Judge Alito's track record on reproductive justice, both on the bench and developing political strategy, fly in the face of what Chicago Foundation for Women believes to be a women's fundamental right to privacy and freedom.
In the first such move since the Bork nomination of 1987, on December 20 the Sierra Club joined with other national environmental groups to urge Senators to oppose the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. Americans deserve mainstream, independent Justices, with unassailable integrity, who will protect individual rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, Judge Alito's opinions and other statements, combined with a disturbing lack of candor since being nominated, show that Judge Alito cannot be trusted to protect those rights and freedoms.
"Samuel Alito just won’t give a straight answer. And senators’ questions are helping explain why: Judge Alito doesn’t want Americans to understand that his record reflects a consistent pattern of ruling against average people and their personal privacy – and ruling in favor of corporations and government power."
-Ralph Neas, president of People For the American Way
"Judge Alito's restrictive views and narrow interpretations of civil rights laws have compelled the Lawyers' Committee to oppose this nomination. The Lawyers' Committee believes that Judge Alito's troubling views from the 1980s and his current record as a judge are fully consistent and reflect a considerable skepticism about the importance of civil rights enforcement."
Barbara R. Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee
"At a time when our president has claimed unprecedented authority to spy on Americans and jail terrorism suspects indefinitely, America needs a Supreme Court justice who will uphold our precious civil liberties. Unfortunately, Judge Alito’s record shows a willingness to support government actions that abridge individual freedoms."
Anthony D. Romero, executive director of ACLU - this is the second time the ACLU has officially opposed a Supreme Court nominee