WASHINGTON - January 6 - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law ("Lawyers' Committee") has released a Statement of Opposition to Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. The Statement from the Lawyers' Committee's Board is signed by more than 100 prominent lawyers from across the United States and concludes that if confirmed, Judge Alito would turn back the clock on civil rights enforcement and impede our progress toward the goal of equal justice for all.
The Lawyers' Committee's Statement expresses serious concerns about Alito's 15-year record on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals as well as his expressed personal views on critical civil rights issues. The Statement notes that, "Judge Alito does not possess a sense of fairness or balance in civil rights cases, and that he would instead bring to future civil rights cases the kind of ideological commitment that would set back civil rights enforcement in substantial ways."
"Judge Alito's restrictive views and narrow interpretations of civil rights laws have compelled the Lawyers' Committee to oppose this nomination. The Lawyers' Committee believes that Judge Alito's troubling views from the 1980s and his current record as a judge are fully consistent and reflect a considerable skepticism about the importance of civil rights enforcement," said Barbara R. Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee.
-- In Judge Alito's recent responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire he has continued to use inflammatory "quota" labels to describe race-conscious measures.
-- Judge Alito's record embraces an interpretation of Title VII remedies that would preclude affirmative action, despite repeated Supreme Court holdings rejecting that interpretation.
-- Judge Alito has advanced a cramped reading of Title VII that would make it very difficult for minority plaintiffs to prevail in employment discrimination cases.
-- Judge Alito's decisions demonstrate that he assigns to Congress only a narrow authority to remedy discrimination and reduce inequalities.
In light of the reasons noted in the Report, the Lawyers' Committee urges the Judiciary Committee to vote not to confirm this nominee.
The full text of the Lawyers' Committee's statement of concern can be found at http://www.lawyerscommittee.org
The Lawyers' Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights legal organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to provide legal services to address racial discrimination.