Alito Will Disrupt the Court

Samuel Alito is a judge from the 3rd Circuit Appeals Court, who has extensive experience as a Judge and arguing in front of the Supreme Court, a quality that was criticized as lacking in Bush’s previous, failed nomination of his personal lawyer Harriet Meirs. However, any superficial investigation into Alito’s opinions on the bench reveal his ideological lean.

The most controversial, is his dissenting opinion in the abortion trail Casey v. Planned Parenthood, where he argued that woman should be compelled to notify their husbands before they had an abortion. Even though he was the dissenting vote, the Supreme Court used Casey as a means to reaffirm Roe v. Wade, the famous case that legalized abortion in the United States.

Abortion is not the only issue for which Alito promotes more conservative views. In other decisions, Alito has allowed race-based discrimination, allowed disability-based discrimination, allowed unauthorized strip searches, shown hostility toward immigrant rights, favored big business over employers rights, and struck down both the federal government’s ability to regulate machine gun possession. He also struck down the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one.

Although Bush stated That Alito had “a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society and that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their own preferences or priorities on the people,” many of Alito’s close associates call him one of the most active judges on the bench that bends the law to his will.

With all the rhetoric that right wing conservatives use to criticize liberal judges for “using too much discretion” in their decisions, it seems hypocritical to applaud a judge known for the exact same behavior.

Alito is the third nomination that Bush has put forth to replace the retiring justice, Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat.

First, John Roberts took the place of the late William Rehnquist. While Roberts is also conservative he is replacing a conservative judge. O’Connor was known as the “swing vote” that would usually push decisions away from a conservative ruling.

Alito, who is often referred to as “Scalito,” due to being so embedded in the decisions of Anthony Scalia, one of the Court’s most conservative judges, seems to make an unconsummated replacement for O’Conner.

This seems like another step that the Bush administration has taken to subdue impartial government and fill appointed positions with ideologues that only promote personal political agendas.

If Alito is appointed he will become the fifth catholic on the bench giving them a majority. With only one women and one person of color in the Supreme Court, Alito will also add to the homogenization of the bench.

This appointment indicates what the Bush Administration’s view of women in this country is. For a President that declared in the 2000 election that “the W stands for women,” he has repeatedly given reasons to confuse his critics, for his initiation in cutbacks and eliminations in legal protections that would have aided women, and also initiating sexual abstinence programs that are ineffective and stopping money for programs that monitor sexual discrimination in federal agencies, do not indicate that Bush is interested in a woman’s autonomy.

By nominating another man to the Supreme Court, that has already made it abundantly clear that he will support governmental control over a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and health, President Bush has once again proved his skill as phony protector of civil rights and as a President who does better in alienating the majority of his citizens in order to protect the archaic ideology of his associates.