Another Reason to Enroll Green: Alito

Alito: Another Reason to Enroll Green

Compiled by Ian Wilder, Co-Chair, Green Party of New York State

On January 31, 2006, the Green Party of the United States strongly urged Democrats in the U.S. Senate to filibuster the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet again, the Democratic Senators failed to heed the call. The United States needs a strong opposition party that will speak out for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Add your voice to that of other Greens who spoke out against putting another Federalist Society radical on the Supreme Court.

Greens listed Judge Alito's radical ideological interpretations of the law, including his theory of 'unitary executive' power which would override constitutional restraints on the power of the President, as well as his favoritism towards corporations and his apparent hostility to environmental laws, reproductive rights, the equal protection guarantees for African Americans, and inclusion of third parties in elections. Greens expressed dismay that many Democrats have dismissed the call for a filibuster by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and will instead confirm Judge Alito.

This followed on the heels of the January 16, 2006 press release from the Green Party of the United States urging Americans to Speak Out Against 'Ideologue' Alito's Confirmation.

"Judge Alito, if confirmed, will be the fourth member of a group of Supreme Court justices dedicated to unchecked presidential power and the repeal of equal protection and numerous individual rights," said Marakay Rogers, Green candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania and former candidate for the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Greens noted that Judge Alito throughout his career has sought to "increase the power of the executive to shape the law" (his words), having advised the Reagan Administration on strategies for evading Congress's oversight and ignoring laws it doesn't agree with, and favoring a license for the Justice Department to install wiretaps without obtaining a warrant.

"In the current Bush administration, Sam Alito's theory of 'unitary executive' power translates into exploitation of the wartime situation and public fears about terrorism," said Carl Romanelli, who is seeking the nomination of the Green Party of Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate. "Democrats and moderate Republicans who were outraged at the revelation of President Bush's order for the NSA to spy on Americans without warrants should be as concerned about Judge Alito as the rest of us."

Consistent with his support for enlarged executive power, Judge Alito has claimed that a presidential 'signing statement' (language added to a bill passed by Congress, added by the President upon signing it into law, such as President Bush's signing statement giving the White House the option to override the McCain amendment outlawing torture) has legal validity equal to the law itself.

"Signing statements are a violation of the constitutional separation of powers which, if upheld by the Court, would set the stage for unprecedented abuse of executive power, some of which we're already witnessing," said Mr. Romanelli.

Greens asserted that all Americans who value justice should be alarmed at Judge Alito's apparent hostility towards African Americans and favoritism for corporations, as evidenced by his judicial record.

"In the context of the rest of his career, we cannot consider Judge Alito's membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton an isolated and forgotten youthful mistake, committed in ignorance of the group's animosity towards women, people of color, and people with AIDS," said Jody Grage Haug, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "As Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-Tex.] noted, Judge Alito has repeatedly ruled against African Americans seeking the right to a fair jury and protection from job discrimination. Since Judge Alito has refused to call Roe v. Wade 'settled law', reproductive rights would be under greater threat if he were on the bench. His appointment would strengthen the bloc of ideologues who are gunning for Roe and for civil rights protections, and who seek to enshrine unrestrained presidential power."

The Green Party of the United States listed other dangerous and antidemocratic positions taken by Samuel Alito: Judge Alito's narrow interpretation of the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause threatens numerous environmental laws, especially those protecting wetlands and waterways that affect the ecology of several states. ("Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and the environment", National Environmental Trust

Citing the need for a "stable and efficient election process," Judge Alito favors restrictive ballot access laws hostile to independents and parties outside of the Democratic-Republican mainstream. ("Judge Alito's ballot access record is disappointing", Ballot Access News, December 5, 2005, Vol 21 No 8