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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt


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Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito On Civil Rights, Medical Leave, Assault Weapons, Workers' Rights, Reproductive Rights, and Capital Punishment

Via PFAW:

Alito is a leader of the radical right legal movement to prevent the federal government from enforcing civil rights protections and otherwise acting on behalf of the common good. According to one of Alito's opinions, Congress had no authority to require state employers to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act through payment of damages when they violate the law, a ruling that was repudiated by the Supreme Court. The late Chief Justice Rehnquist, a fellow ultraconservative, wrote the court's decision. Alito also dissented from a ruling by the Third Circuit that Congress has the power under the Commerce Clause to restrict the transfer and possession of machine guns at gun shows.

Alito's record shows an alarming trend toward standing against protections for workers. In a number of dissenting opinions, Alito has taken positions that, if adopted, would have made it more difficult for victims of race and sex discrimination to prove their claims. In one case involving claims of race discrimination, the court majority sharply criticized Alito's dissent, stating that his "position would immunize an employer from the reach of Title VII" in certain circumstances.

Alito wants government to be able to interfere in personal decisions on reproductive rights. In one case, Alito attempted to uphold a provision of Pennsylvania'a restrictive anti-abortion law requiring a woman in certain circumstances to notify her husband before obtaining an abortion. Alito's colleagues on the Third Circuit and Supreme Court disagreed, and overturned the provision.

In one case that came before Alito, an African American had been convicted of felony murder and sentenced to death by an all-white jury from which black jurors had been impermissibly struck. Alito cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion in a 2-1 ruling rejecting the defendant's claims.

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