Saturday, January 14, 2006

Feingold, Kohl should oppose Alito

Wisconsin is in the unusual position of having both of its Senators on the Judiciary Committee, which will vote on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Both should be voting no.

Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel reports:

Senate Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold both said Thursday that they came away from Judge Samuel Alito's four days of testimony with concerns and unanswered questions about his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The two said they had not made a final decision about their vote, but Alito appeared on track to be confirmed by the Senate in the next few weeks.

Activists on both sides of the debate are expecting the 18-member Judiciary Committee to split along party lines, with all 10 Republicans supporting confirmation and all eight Democrats opposing.
Feingold and Kohl voted for Bush's last nominee, John Roberts, so they are not pure partisans on judicial appointments.

But there are many good reasons for them to oppose Alito, even though it appears he is on his way to confirmation. There's his bizarre theory that the government can't regulate machine guns, for one. Here are a few more from the ACLU:

* Judge Alito has shown an alarming deference to the power of the executive branch. Throughout his career, Judge Alito has promoted an expansive view of executive authority and a limited view of the judicial role in curbing abuses of that authority. Two years ago, Justice O'Connor, whom he would replace, eloquently expressed what is at stake in these critical times when she wrote: "A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens." This is extremely important given the various issues the Supreme Court will likely consider: the Patriot Act, the warrantless surveillance of Americans by the NSA and others.

* Judge Alito has repeatedly advocated against our fundamental civil rights and civil liberties. Judge Alito's judicial philosophy in the areas of race, religion, and reproductive rights raise serious questions as his commitment to preserving our fundamental Constitutional freedoms. He expressed particular pride in the role he had played in the Solicitor General's Office in helping to craft Supreme Court briefs arguing that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion, noting that these were positions "in which I personally believe very strongly." By and large, Alito's legal opinions make it more difficult for plaintiffs alleging discrimination to prevail, easier for the government to lend its support to religion and harder to challenge questionable tactics by the police and prosecution.

* Judge Alito has taken a narrow view on Congressional power. In at least two cases, Judge Alito's judicial philosophy shows that he does not view the legislative branch as co-equal. First, Alito held that Congress had exceeded its power under the Fourteenth Amendment by requiring the states to provide time off for sick employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Several years later, the Supreme Court rejected a similar claim in upholding a parallel provision of the FMLA. Second, Alito argued in dissent that Congress had exceeded its power under the Commerce Clause by making it a federal crime to possess a machine gun. This narrow view of the Commerce Clause could have implications in future civil rights and civil liberties cases.
A call or e-mail to Feingold and Kohl wouldn't hurt.


At 3:28 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Which way cut and run and the empty suit vote really dosnt matter Alito is going to be confirmed and it will be offical the left will have lost their last bastion of control the SCOTUS

Heck of a way to start off the New Year dont you think. 15 million of Move On and People for the liberal ways money wasted and Judge Alito is still going to be confirmed. And if you like 5-4 conservative how are you all going to like 6-3, when President Bush will probably get to appoint another Justice before 08



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