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Friday, May 11, 2007

Justice Alito Makes his Mark on the Court

Mark Sherman of the Associate Press reported this week that, in his first fifteen months on the Supreme Court, Justice Alito has “been everything his conservative supporters expected and his liberal detractors feared.” Sherman went on to explain that:

Alito has voted with Chief Justice John Roberts, Scalia and Thomas in every case in which the Court has been ideologically divided. When they've been joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, they've had a majority to uphold the first nationwide ban on an abortion procedure, to reinstate death sentences in California and Kansas and to give police more freedom to barge into homes and seize evidence.

The Court still has important cases yet to decide this term, including a case on racial integration in schools, which could effectively undo the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education. Alliance for Justice’s own Nan Aron is quoted in the article as saying that: “she expects Alito to cast a vote striking down public school plans that use race as a factor in assigning students to schools. ‘I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I'm wrong. …He was a very doctrinaire ultraconservative at the Justice Department and on the 3rd Circuit. He continues to be one on the Supreme Court.’”

The obvious shift to the right on the Supreme Court and other lower courts is already impacting the freedoms and security of ordinary Americans. It is very important that the Senate take its role of advise and consent in confirming judicial nominees seriously and strictly scrutinize nominees to the nation’s federal courts.

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