Saturday, January 07, 2006

Memo to Dems and "moderate" Reeps: Filibuster Alito

Here are several links which provide information regarding Judge Samuel Alito and why the Dems and the few remaining Republicans who are supposed to be "moderates" need to filibuster this guy:

1. People for the American Way: a summary and a more detailed analysis of his corporate and right wing judicial activism. The People for the American Way also provide this handy map to help you contact your senator. My advice: Even if your senator is likely to vote "No," and you agree, call him/her and let the senator know you are on his/her side. The senators who oppose the nomination need support from each of us. I plan to call both Boxer and Feinstein, who are the CA senators. And obviously, if any of your senators are on the fence or voting for him, let your voice be heard. It's worth a few minutes of your time--and it makes a bigger difference than you may think.

2. Media Matters (scroll down for the excellent response to the argument that "Well, the Republicans gave Ginsburg a pass, why not give a pass to Alito"? The answer is that Ginsburg, out side of women's issues, was a raging constitutional corporatist). I recall being very disappointed with Breyer and Ginsburg for that very reason. Ironically, the best justice picked by any president in the past 40 years is Justice David Souter. Souter is my favorite because he combines intellect, compassion, and a truly organic sense of constitutional history and law.

3. The Alliance for Justice's Alito page includes a comprehensive analysis on Alito's rulings over the years and how his 1985 job application with the Reagan administration presaged his rulings on the bench.

4. A readable and relatively short article from the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain revealing Alito's right wing record that defers to the government in cases of military and police abuse of individuals--and in favor of corporations in cases of discrimination against individuals. One can imagine how much leeway he'd give the Terrible President and Mr. Other Priorities in their thumbing their noses at the 4th Amendment, FISA law, and other civil liberty protections. Also, if we want to continue to honor the memory of Americans such as Hugh Thompson, Jr., who just passed away, we need to stop guys like Alito from ascending to the top judicial post in the nation.

I have also been troubled by Alito's lack of candor in his initial failure to admit he was a member of a reactionary alumni group at Princeton, as well as the right wing Federalist Society, when he put those memberships on his application for the Reagan administration. The issue with his mutual fund stock holdings with Vanguard and his ruling in a lawsuit involving Vanguard was not as bothersome to me--except when I heard Alito's lame excuse that he somehow forgot most of his stock holdings were being managed by Vanguard. See here (Motley Fool summarizes Alito's Vanguard holdings) and here (Washington Post article shows how unlikely he could have forgotten this).

Finally, let's also not forget Alito's classmate and friend, the FoxNews legal commentator, former Judge Andrew Napolitano, who was described and quoted in the Daily Princetonian as follows:

"Napolitano also said he wasn't surprised that Bush chose Alito.

"'Sam Alito is just what George Bush is looking for: a big government conservative who will almost always side with the government against the individual, and the federal government against the state,'" Napolitano said."

If a filibuster seems too extreme, let's remember this: The Terrible President and his allies in Congress are suffering the self-inflicted wounds of a poorly run war begun by their misleading the public, their utter contempt of law, their large scale money-based corruption, and their poor stewardship of our nation overall. The nation can do better than Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court to replace Sandra O'Connor.

Therefore: Filibuster.

Make the Republican leadership--no, dare them to!--exercise the "nuclear option" in an election year where their radicalism and incompetence is already under scrutiny. If Alito's nomination passes the senate under those circumstances, a lot of voters who might otherwise lull themselves into voting for Republicans this year will more likely decide "Enough is enough." This is not just another political issue. This is very important to the nation at a time when the lawlessness of this administration has been further exposed.



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