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Monday, October 31, 2005

Racist, Sexist, Corporatist:
Judge Samuel Alito is Scalia's Mini-Me

This morning, President Bush nominated yet another Justice to the Supreme Court: Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito. Far right conservatives hailed the move; conservative Democrats like Harry Reid immediately assaulted the appointment. This man might just be more conservative than wingnut John Roberts.

Who is Alito?


He's a clone of Antonin Scalia, the most ideological Justice in perhaps the history of the Court. The resemblance has earned Alito the nickname "Scalito."

Republicans are already saying "nope, he's not like Scalia. See, there was this one case once where Scalia overruled Alito." That's true. There was this one case where Scalia overruled Alito. Obviously, not every judge will always vote the same as another judge. To take just one of several hundred million examples, Scalia and Clarence Thomas are the Supreme Court's bosom buddies. They vote together nearly every time, but not every time. In Thornton v. United States, to take just one example, Thomas and Scalia disagreed. But that doesn't mean that you can't compare Thomas to Scalia. Yet another phony line of Republican argument obliterated. An appaling Time magazine article claims that Alito and Scalia are not alike because of their disagreement on one case. This reads as if it were faxed out of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy's war room, not printed by one of the most respected news magazines in America. Readers, stop reading Time and supporting corporate evil.


He's a sexist who wants to tell women what to do with their bodies in defiance of the constitutional right to privacy. His most famous ruling was when he agreed with the majority in 1991's Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That case affirmed several Pennsylvania law that restricted abortion in several ways. Alito actually thought the majority didn't go far enough; he supported requiring women to notify their spouse before having an abortion as well. The Supreme Court, despite being dominated by Republicans, overturned Alito and the Third Circuit. Guess who agreed with Alito? Justice Scalia.

He's a racist who wants to prevent people from using the courts to obtain justice. In doing so, he's a corporatist who favors the interests of massive corporations above those of average, hard-working Americans. In Bray v. Marriott Hotels, Alito dissented from the majority decision that found racial discrimination. The majority explains the legal falsity of Alito's argument in damning fashion:
The dissent carefully explains each of the discrepancies in this record in isolation and concludes that none of them creates a material issue of fact. See Dissenting Op. at 8-11. We have previously noted that such an analysis is improper in a discrimination case:

A play cannot be understood on the basis of some of its scenes but only on its entire performance, and similarly, a discrimination analysis must concentrate not on individual incidents, but on the overall scenario.

Thus, we must determine whether the totality of the evidence would allow a reasonable factfinder to conclude that Bray has established the alleged bias.

Standards, shmandards? Alito apparently disobeys the law and follows his own illogical course when it suits his hard right concerns.

Alito also is a fan of discrimination against the disabled. (That's as low as low gets, in my opinion.) In Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, Alito dissented from the majority that found discrimination against a disabled man. The majority said that under Alito's standard, "few if any…cases would survive summary judgment."

Alito also hates families and wants to punish people who need to take care of them. As an activist judge, Alito sought to strike down a large portion of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act.) In Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, Alito wrote for the majority that claimed that individuals could not sue their state under FMLA. Three years later in Nevada v. Hibbs, Rehnquist wrote a majority opinion that overturned Alito's anti-family ruling. Individuals can now sue a state for monetary damages for violations of FMLA. Remember, Alito was to the right of Rehnquist on this issue.

In an issue that currently means a whole lot to me, Alito disrespects the Fourth Amendment. A majority in Doe v. Groody held that a strip search of a mother and her 10 year old daughter violated the Fourth Amendment because the police only had a warrant to search a man and the home. Alito dissented; to him, the language of the warrant doesn't matter.


Bush appointed yet another white man to the Supreme Court. Clarence Thomas, a traitor to African-Americans everywhere, is the only non-white; the generally reliable Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the only woman on the court. Bush took the opportunity to make the first two Supreme Court appointments of the 21st century look just like the first two Supreme Court appointments of the 19th century: rich white men who judge according to their racist and sexist hearts.

4. MOM ADMITS THAT ALITO IS AGAINST ABORTION (if that wasn't already clear)

Alito's own mother said that "Of course he's against abortion." Of course, the right wing smear machine will have us believe that his own mom is just some crazy loon and that Alito would never rule according to his personal beliefs. And if you believe either of those things, I have this great bridge to sell you.

In conclusion, Alito is a dangerous judge who will undermine the rights of American citizens everywhere. Democrats need to filibuster and stop this nominee at all costs. Like I said a few days ago, we were better off with Harriet Miers.


More SCOTUS news: Although Republicans constantly charge that liberals are "activist judges" and conservatives judges "are faithful to the proper role of judges," that lie fails to comport with reality. In fact, a new study proves that the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court are activist judges most likely to overturn the will of Congress and exceed their boundaries as judges. This is the smoking gun that the "activist judge" line has been total propaganda all along. I dare the Federalist Society to start a crusade against Thomas and Scalia for being activist judges. They won't because they were never concerned with activist judges, they were just selling that lie in order to covertly force their right wing revolution on the Courts. Here is the study:

How often do Justices on the Supreme Court strike down laws made by the United States Congress?

Thomas 65.63 %
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O'Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %

It goes right down partisan lines. The liberal Justices are the least activist; the conservative Justices are the most activist. Yet another Republican line of reasoning obliterated.

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