Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Snapshots of Democratic Hypocrites on Alito

A total of 19 Democrats voted yesterday to kill a filibuster attempt by Senator John Kerry on the nomination of Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. By doing so, these Democrats have ensured that the ultraconservative Alito will be confirmed.

While most of them are saying they will vote against his confirmation today, have a look at some of the strong statements they have made about why a Supreme Court Justice Alito would be bad for America – despite voting yesterday in a way that guarantees that will happen.

Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI): "I am not confident that Judge Alito will be able to fairly apply the principles embodied in the United States Constitution… Important questions on privacy, the environment, presidential power and women's reproductive rights will all come before the Court to be resolved. With Judge Alito sitting on the Supreme Court, I am very concerned about the direction the Court will take our great nation.”

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM): “At a time when the president has asserted expansive powers with regard to imprisoning U.S. citizens without charges, with regard to wiretapping without warrants, with regard to using interrogation techniques that amount to torture, it's essential that we have justices on the Supreme Court that are willing to provide a check on the authority of the executive branch. Judge Alito's record indicates that he may not be the right person to provide this check.
I believe that Judge Alito's confirmation will sway the existing balance on the Court in a manner that will jeopardize many of the protections afforded to the American public, many of which were the result of many years of struggle.”

Maria Cantwell (D-WA): “I am very concerned with Judge Alito’s record regarding an individual’s constitutional right to privacy. While I do not expect any judicial nominee to prejudge future cases, I do expect all nominees to make their positions clear on protecting the most basic rights of individuals and the fundamental structure and foundations of our democracy. In the end, I cannot be sure that Judge Alito would do either.”

Byron Dorgan (D-ND): “One of the key questions for me about a new Justice for the Supreme Court is ‘will this person interpret the Constitution in a manner that expands personal freedom and liberty, or will this person interpret it in a way that restricts personal freedom and liberty?’ I believe Judge Alito’s record is one that leans in the direction of restricting the freedom and liberty of individual citizens.”

Joe Lieberman (D-CT): “Based on his personal statements during the 1980s when he was a government attorney, and particularly on his 15 years of judicial opinions, I am left with profound concerns that Judge Alito would diminish the Supreme Court’s role as the ultimate guarantor of individual liberty in our country. This is not about a single issue but about an accumulation of his opinions that leads me to a preponderance of doubts.”

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR): “After thoroughly reviewing Judge Alito’s record during his time on the federal bench, I am left with grave and serious concerns about his views on the power and scope of Executive Branch authority, discrimination against parents in the workplace, his general disposition toward cases involving civil rights, and his views on the scope of voter rights.”

John Rockefeller (D-WV): “I have concluded that Judge Alito’s judicial record, his writings and his statements portray a man who will not do enough to stand up against power when the rights of average Americans are on the line and who will not do enough to stand up against the President when the checks and balances in our Constitution are on the line. At the end of the day, I am left with the fear that Judge Alito brings to the court a longstanding bias in favor of an all-powerful presidency…”

Ken Salazar (D-CO): “I am convinced, based upon a very careful review of his record, that Judge Alito will move the Supreme Court outside the mainstream of American law. Judge Alito’s judicial philosophy will expand Executive power too far, hurt the checks and balances built into our Constitution to protect us all, and roll back important civil rights protections that were achieved in our country through the sacrifices of many.”