WASHINGTON - January 19 - National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy today sent a
letter to senators of both parties who have held themselves out as
supporters of women's rights, reminding them of the danger posed
by Judge Samuel Alito and asking them to wage a filibuster in
opposition to his nomination.
Considering Senate Republicans' consistent record of voting in
lock-step for Bush's judicial nominees, Alito likely has all 55 of
those votes sewn up, but we continue to hold out hope for a rare
glimpse of independence. Nonetheless, that places the responsibility
for protecting women's rights squarely on the Democrats, who must
rise to the occasion and use their prerogative to require sixty
"Yes, we all know the numbers, and the reality of the imbalance
of power," Gandy wrote. "But the lives, hopes, and futures of our
girls and women, our hard-working families, our seniors, our
children, our neighbors who face physical, mental and economic
challenges, depend on you."
Gandy reminded senators of Alito's reversal of the Family and
Medical Leave Act, his refusal to hold a school responsible for
sexual harassment, and his memorandum mapping out the overturn of
Roe v. Wade.
"Your commitment to women's rights is hollow if you will not
fight to preserve them," Gandy wrote to senators. "NOW, with our
legions of everyday supporters who are the 'foot soldiers' in our
fight to protect our democracy and basic rights, finds just about
ALL of Judge Alito's record, writings, decisions and remarks
'unsettling.' We believe that this nomination and its threat to
privacy and autonomy and decency and respect for all of us is cause
for a declaration of 'extraordinary circumstances' and a Senate
The Supreme Court's opinion in Ayotte v.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England gives women's
rights supporters even greater reason to believe that Samuel Alito
is the wrong justice for a court whose mission is to preserve
fundamental constitutional rights and liberties.
Gandy responded to that decision: "Yesterday the Supreme Court
sidestepped a substantive decision in Ayotte, yet we know that the
issue of abortion exceptions to preserve the woman's health will
come back to the Court. If Samuel Alito is on that Court, we have
every reason to believe that he will tip the balance against clear
protection for our lives and health. The looming threat of this
confirmation is terrifying."