Monday, October 31, 2005

Bush Nominates Samuel Alito

Pres. Bush has named Antonin Scalia's ideological twin, Samuel Alito, as Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement on the Supreme Court:

Legal experts consider the 55-year-old Alito so ideologically similar to Justice Antonin Scalia that he has earned the nickname "Scalito."

In 1991, in one of his more well-known decisions, he was the only dissenting voice in a 3rd Circuit ruling striking down a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their husbands if they planned to get an abortion.

He also wrote the opinion in 1999 in a case that said a Christmas display on city property did not violate separation of church and state doctrines because it included a large plastic Santa Claus as well as religious symbols.

Think Progress has more:

ALITO WOULD ALLOW DISABILITY-BASED DISCRIMINATION: In Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, the majority said the standard for proving disability-based discrimination articulated in Alito's dissent was so restrictive that "few if any...cases would survive summary judgment." [Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991]

ALITO WOULD STRIKE DOWN THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) "guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one." The 2003 Supreme Court ruling upholding FMLA [Nevada v. Hibbs, 2003] essentially reversed a 2000 decision by Alito which found that Congress exceeded its power in passing the law. [Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, 2000]

ALITO SUPPORTS UNAUTHORIZED STRIP SEARCHES: In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home. [Doe v. Groody, 2004]

ALITO HOSTILE TOWARD IMMIGRANTS: In two cases involving the deportation of immigrants, the majority twice noted Alito's disregard of settled law. In Dia v. Ashcroft, the majority opinion states that Alito's dissent "guts the statutory standard" and "ignores our precedent." In Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, the majority stated Alito's opinion contradicted "well-recognized rules of statutory construction." [Dia v. Ashcroft, 2003; Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 2004]

In other words, Alito is a judicial activist extraordinaire. He completely ignores legal precedent if settled law does not fit his ideological worldview.

Prepare for a knock down drag out on this one, if Senate Democrats mean what they say.


Chief said...

The Supreme Court has 9 sitting members at present. Justice O'Conner has said she will step down after her replacement is confirmed.

What would happen if Justice O'Conner was so upset at Bush's nominee to replace her that she refused to step down.

Kathy said...

That's a wonderful fantasy, but you know it's not going to happen.

I just wish the Senate Democrats would have some backbone and refuse to confirm him. (And filibuster.) But they won't. They'll blow off a lot of steam and then vote to confirm him.

Chief said...

You may not have a use for the info at this link now, but perhaps it will fit into some future post.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Chief; I've saved the article.

Chief said...

I just took this quote from Billmon. You've probably seen it. Ah, if only Canada were warmer. I've seen far to much ice & snow to move up there. Vancouver might be worth a look, tho.

From Billmon, "Great. A gun nut "constitution in exile" Scalia clone who thinks husbands have squatter's rights to their spouses' private parts and who wants to let cops strip search 10-year old girls in their own freaking homes.

If we can't Bork this guy, we might as well hand the wing nuts the keys and ALL move to Canada."