WASHINGTON - January 4 - People For the American Way (PFAW) today released its final pre-confirmation hearing report analyzing the record and legal philosophy of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito, Jr. The comprehensive report reviews Judge Alito’s public record as both a judge and an executive branch official, and identifies the sharp contrasts between the mainstream conservative legal positions often taken by retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the hard-right ideology Judge Alito has demonstrated throughout his career.
The 155-page report thoroughly examines Judge Alito’s writings and decisions in a variety of areas, including civil rights, First Amendment issues, executive power, reproductive freedom, religious liberty and the power of the federal government to protect citizens. It analyzes controversial cases in which Alito’s court was divided, assesses his dissents and notes rulings that earned sharp disagreement from his colleagues on the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit or other courts. The report concludes that, if confirmed, Alito would join Justices Scalia and Thomas in a radical, right-wing bloc out of line with the values of mainstream Americans.
“While Judge Alito is a mild-mannered and soft-spoken man, his far-right ideology would bring radical change to the Supreme Court, tipping the balance that Justice O’Connor’s swing vote provided on key issues,” said PFAW President Ralph G. Neas. “Alito’s ideology threatens rights and liberties Americans have come to cherish, and his long record provides clear, compelling evidence that the Senate should reject his nomination.”
Among the report’s findings and conclusions:
- He is the most frequent dissenter on the Third Circuit, and the overwhelming majority of his dissents favor a right-wing perspective.
- In civil rights cases where the Third Circuit was divided, Alito has advocated positions detrimental to civil rights 85 percent of the time.
- Throughout his career, Judge Alito has shown a strong predilection to concentrate power in the executive branch and the President, eroding governmental checks and balances and diminishing the rights of private citizens.
- As a government lawyer and a federal judge, Judge Alito has consistently failed to protect civil rights. He has said he disagrees with historic Supreme Court decisions articulating the ‘one person – one vote’ principle.
- His ultraconservative ideology would undermine an enormous range of laws Americans rely on, including civil rights protections, health and safety standards in the workplace, regulations protecting air and water quality, and even the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs.
More than his colleagues on the Third Circuit, Judge Alito has sided with corporations and government entities accused of discrimination. Several analyses of his record by academics and the news media indicate that he consistently sides with powerful entities against individuals.
The report is available online at http://www.SaveTheCourt.org/PreHearingReport.