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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 08:50 PM
Original message
Law Professor's Blog Skewers Alito
The Basic Case Against Alito

Robert Gordon

...

When Samuel Alito applied for a political job in the Justice Department in 1985, he wrote that he had been inspired to go into law by disagreement with the "activist" decisions of the Supreme Court under Earl Warren and other liberal policies. ... He added: "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion." He advertised his membership in a group of Princeton alumni who objected to opening up Princeton to women and minorities.... Now Alito is saying that the job memo doesn't tell us anything about how he would act as a judge because he wrote it as an "advocate" --- an advocate for himself, apparently -- applying for a political job in a conservative administration. He says his briefs and arguments and legal opinions for the Justice Department are also irrelevant because he was just acting as an advocate for the executive branch. He says that even his deeply held personal views on abortion and civil rights are irrelevant because he will be acting as a judge, not a person. (He also says he can't remember belonging to the Princeton alumni group, which I find rather hard to believe, since he was proud enough of it to put it on his job application.)
...

By all indications Alito is ... not "conservative" in any plausible sense of the word except in style. ... wherever there is running room - opened up by gaps in application, conflicts in precedents, ambiguities in statutes - Alito is an activist who works steadily to push the law well beyond conventional boundaries of precedent. There is nothing "restrained" about his opinions proposing to strike down one federal law banning machine guns for exceeding Congress's power under the Commerce Clause (U.S. v. Rybar, 1996); to strike down another mandating employers to grant medical leave to parents of newborn children for exceeding Congress's power under the Fourteenth Amendment (Chittister, 2000); and to construe regulatory and civil rights laws so restrictively as to frustrate their purposes. He is for "limited government" and "federalism" when those principles point to less regulation of business and religious expression; but for authoritarian government when it acts in the causes of protecting national security or law enforcement and regulating morals. He is in short a judge with an agenda, and the agenda is not "conservative" but right-wing-Republican....Alito and his comrades went into law to dismantle the achievements of the New Deal, Warren Court and Great Society, the social policies and civil rights protections and both the restrictions on and expansion of government authority of the liberal state. Some of us may regard this as a rather pinched and negative set of ideals, but to them it was a noble crusade.

...

In two broad areas especially, Alito promises to be a dangerous servant of the agenda.

Executive Power

1. The first and most important is executive power. As Dahlia Lithwick and Sandy Levinson have astutely pointed out, there's reason to think that Alito's views on executive power are the main reasons Bush wants him on the Court. Alito has not decided any cases squarely on point. But everything in his background and record suggests he is likely to be extremely deferential to executive power and reluctant to assert a strong judicial role in checking it.

In the Justice Department, he was a consistent supporter of executive power. In one (by now well-known) opinion he argued that the Attorney General should be immune from civil suits for authorizing warrantless domestic wiretaps (though with characteristic caution he advised against litigating the issue to the Supreme Court). He proposed that the President regularly attach "signing statements" to the bills he signs suggesting how he thinks legislation should be construed. Bush most recently used a signing statement to indicate that he construes the McCain law prohibiting torture not to limit his discretion to ignore it.

Almost every time law enforcement clashed with individual rights to due process, Alito supported law enforcement. He gave an opinion that there was no constitutional issue raised when a police officer shot and killed a 15 year old boy who ran away from the police after having stolen only $10: Alito said, the officer didn't know that, and it might have been a more serious felony. (The Supreme Court disagreed, in a 6-3 opinion by Justice White, who said, "It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape.A police officer may not seize an unarmed, non-dangerous suspect by shooting him dead.") He consistently pressed for interpreting law enforcement authority broadly, finding loopholes and wiggle room in statutes and court cases that construed it narrowly. He wrote another opinion approving the FBI's plan to compile fingerprint information of refugees living in Canada, on the ground that illegal aliens and foreigners living outside their countries are not entitled to any of the constitutional rights of Americans - notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution's due process clause protects "persons", not "citizens."

As a U.S. Attorney in 1989, Alito expressed strong approval for the theory of the "unitary executive" - the view that the President is the sole boss of the executive branch, and that attempts to make him share power with other branches such as Congress or the courts violate the "separation of powers." This doctrine would - as its strong proponents in the Federalist Society admit - make all the so-called "independent" agencies such as the FCC and the SEC and the Federal reserve unconstitutional, because the statutes creating them limit the President's authority to remove their heads. The theory similarly supports the incredible claims that Bush's lawyers are now making, that when the President is carrying out a specifically executive function, such as that of commander in chief, no other branch may limit his authority. Congress has of course never accepted this claim, and the Supreme Court hasn't either, despite a few cases partially supporting it. The accepted, conventional - and from a historical point of view manifestly correct - doctrine is that in even in national security and foreign-policy affairs, the Constitution contemplates a system of shared, overlapping power and mutually checking powers.

Well that was the Justice Department, where arguably it was Alito's job to uphold and expand executive authority. But as a judge he is not noticeably any different. With a few exceptions, he virtually always supports law enforcement - police, prison authorities, prosecutors, immigration authorities. Even when they violate their own rules, as when the cops strip-search persons not described in their warrant requests, he says the violations are technical, minor, no big deal. (See Doe v. Groody, 2004). Other federal judges have been very critical of the Board of Immigration Appeals for its harsh, sloppy, negligent dismissal of even deserving claims of asylum; but Alito, even when he thinks immigrants have strong claims on the merits, routinely sustains the Board's decisions. Alito dissented when the majority on his court reversed the conviction of a black man because the prosecutors in that county used peremptory challenges to keep blacks off the jury - which is illegal, if done to exclude a particular race or ethnic group. The majority noted that in a county that was 18% black, blacks were constantly being struck from juries. Alito said, that could be just a coincidence - you wouldn't infer some sinister design if a jury pool was mostly left-handed. Quite right - but that's because there's no history of discrimination against left-handers, whereas the practice of using peremptory challenges and other devices to keep blacks off juries is older than Jim Crow and a continuing problem. (Riley v. Taylor, 2001.)

This pattern is especially alarming because if he gets on the Supreme Court, Alito will be taking part in momentous decisions regarding the scope of executive authority in national security matters - cases like those involving "enemy combatants" and detainees and surveillance in what's called the war against terror. The executive branch under Bush, as under Nixon, has claimed an extraordinary authority for the President in wartime - that on his own authority, he can have picked up off the street and detained indefinitely, with no access to a lawyer or the courts or the writ of habeas corpus, anyone he suspects may be aiding terrorists, however indirectly, whether citizen or alien; that he may subject anyone he (or a shift supervisor at the National Security Agency) thinks may have some connection to a foreign threat to surveillance without a court order; and that in his capacity of commander-in-chief he may not be restrained by domestic law, Congressional action, prior court precedents, or international law in his conduct of the "war on terror", which is likely to last forever. He claims emergency powers for a perpetual emergency. In short the doctrine is that the president is a law unto himself, or rather operates in a law-free zone, and is the sole judge of his own jurisdiction and the actions taken within it. This doctrine is the old doctrine of royal absolutism, which was developed by Nazi jurists like Carl Schmitt into a doctrine of executive emergency powers - the doctrine that the executive protecting the nation's security is outside the law. The Supreme Court as it was last year, with Rehnquist and O'Connor still on it, had a majority that clearly disapproved of this doctrine. Even Justice Scalia believes that the President may not detain citizens indefinitely without charging them unless Congress has acted to suspend habeas corpus. Would a Court with Roberts and Alito taking their places do the same?

The Senators have got to ask Alito what he thinks the limits of this doctrine of executive emergency powers are, if any; and what those limits are. He cannot be allowed to evade the question by saying that the issues must be decided case by case. The claim that Bush and his lawyers like John Yoo make for executive power is a categorical one that the President may disregard even specific statutes limiting or regulating his authority. They have invited a general debate on the issue, and the Alito hearings are an ideally appropriate vehicle to conduct that debate.

2. Protections of the Vulnerable

I've mentioned that the legal agenda of the conservative movement, articulated by young conservative lawyers like Alito in the Reagan Administration, was to roll back the Rights Revolution and New Social Regulation of the 1960s and 70s. The justices they appointed made some headway on this agenda, but have been thwarted by their more liberal colleagues and the Congress. Alito, it seems clear, is still pursuing this agenda.

The clearest example is civil rights enforcement. Alito is regularly hostile to claims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age or disability. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, for all his respect for legislatures, he's even hostile to Congress when it tries to do something about discrimination. Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993, requiring employers to rehire employees who take leave to have children. Congress found that without such policies, many employers would not take back many employees, and that this was a civil rights issue because the burden of child care falls disproportionately on women, who are therefore most likely to lose their jobs and have their employment opportunities truncated. Alito voted to invalidate parts of the Family Medical Leave Act (abrogating sovereign immunity for states that violated the law) on the ground that Congress had not put forward enough evidence that employer leave policies intentionally disfavored women. This is a very narrow view of what it means to discriminate. How much evidence would you need that the burden of firing workers who take leave to take care of children falls disproportionately on women? The Supreme Court decided this case the other way, with Rehnquist writing the opinion, reasoning that Congress had plenty of reason to think that Congress could reasonably have found that "mutually reinforcing stereotypes created a self-fulfilling cycle of discrimination that forced women to continue to assume the role of primary family caregiver, and fostered employers' stereotypical views about women's commitment to work and their value as employees." (Nevada Dept. of Human Resources v. Hibbs, 2003).

Like most of the judges Bush has appointed to the federal courts, Alito is generally unfriendly to employees who sue employers for discrimination. I should say there are exceptions - he sometimes rules in favor of plaintiffs in such cases - but the general pattern is one of hostility. Again, Alito doesn't make sweeping pronouncements - that's not his style. He simply increases the burden of proof on employees to prove discrimination and makes it relatively easy for employers to prove they did not discriminate. Generally he favors having courts dismiss such complaints without allowing them to get to juries.

One example will illustrate his technique. Barbara Sheridan worked for the Hotel DuPont. She had been regularly promoted. When she complained of sexual harassment, she was demoted to a non-supervisory position. The precedents in this area of law hold that if an employee claims discrimination, the employer has to come forward with an innocent explanation for firing or not promoting or demoting an employee. In this case the hotel said her performance was deficient. Sheridan showed these explanations were false. The cases then say that if the employer's reasons for its actions seem to be pretexts, then the plaintiff gets to a jury to decide if there is discrimination. Judge Alito was the lone dissenter, in a 10-1 ruling for the plaintiff. Alito wanted a rule that once the employer produces a legitimate reason, whether based on a pretext or not, the employee would be back at Square 1, and have to produce further specific proof of discrimination. (Sheridan v. DuPont, 1996.) This sounds like a technical quarrel, but it's not. Employees can rarely prove intentional discrimination directly, because companies don't keep records with smoking guns in them. Courts have to infer discrimination - and giving fake evidence about why someone is fired, under traditional law, is enough to get the case past dismissal.

Nathan Newman has documented Alito's consistent hostility to workers' rights. In 35 labor and employment cases on which Alito has written an opinion, he has favored the employee or union side in only five. He regularly construes statutes to narrow the scope of protections for labor; and in reviewing facts defers to employers' discretion. In Delli Santi v. CAN Insurance Cos. (1996), for example, Alito in dissent agreed that the employer had fired someone with discriminatory intent, then covered the firing by saying the employee had violated company expense report policy. Alito would still have held the firing legitimate because it furthered an actual employment policy.

These cases illustrate a more general pattern in Alito's thinking - which is that people in authority usually have good reasons for what they do, and that the legal system should cut them a lot of slack and give them a lot of discretion. Employers, prison authorities, immigration judges, the police, don't have to give specific reasons or put forward evidence justifying what they do. Anyone who challenges such authorities, however, has to follow strict procedural requirements and satisfy high burdens of proof. - even if he is a pro se litigant or defendant facing the death penalty who has been saddled with incompetent counsel.

The exceptions are as revealing as the patterns. Alito, as we've seen, will not defer even to the Congress when it gives what he thinks are inadequate reasons for federal regulation that carries out liberal social policies. In reviewing decisions of the National Labor Relations Board, Alito is rarely deferential, though he defers to virtually every other government agency, even horridly malign and incompetent agencies like the Board of Immigration Appeals. And if the people challenging authority are claiming religious discrimination or interference with religious liberty, Alito proves very sympathetic to their claims and inclined to help them overcome procedural obstacles.

One can quite confidently predict that where governments and businesses confront individuals, on the whole individuals will lose Alito's vote except where they are claiming rights to free speech or religious liberty; and that Alito will be friendly to state authority when it tries to regulate morals or social order, but unfriendly when it tries to regulate business.

Conclusion

Alito tends to looks reasonable and moderate because of his style. But his style conceals a strategy. In his Justice Department days, Alito was up front about this. He often advised his superiors not to seek direct overruling of the cases they disliked, such as Roe v. Wade, but to pursue an incremental strategy -- to whittle away, case by case, at the surviving legal legacies of the liberal period. In the current political stalemate, where neither side can muster the votes to significantly amend legislation, whoever controls executive agencies and the courts can accomplish repeal of liberal policies, even those that command widespread public support, by stealth. At present the stakes in this battle are about as high as they can be, because the courts are assigned an essential role in preserving the Constitutional balance of power and the rule of law, against an executive that claims for itself dictatorial discretion. In particular, if the courts will not protect the liberties of unpopular subjects, such as those accused of aiding terrorists, no one will.

John Roberts played for Democratic votes in the Senate simply by asserting his independence from factions and patrons and declaring, "I am not an ideologue". This seemed to work in his case, and now only time will tell if it is true. Clarence Thomas told the Senate the same thing, that he had an open mind and no agenda. In his case it turned out not to be true. In Alito's case, unfortunately, almost nothing indicates that he has the independence to deviate from the causes that impelled him into law and a lifetime of federal service as a soldier in the conservative movement. If he is unwilling firmly and forthrightly to declare his independence from the ideologies and executive authorities he has served his entire career, the Democrats should try to keep him off the Court by filibuster.

<http://balkin.blogspot.com/#113682018298107075 >
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. 
[link:www.democraticunderground.com/forums/rules.html|Click
here] to review the message board rules.
 
Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You do realize you are on a liberal website?
"Liberals do not believe in
Democracy."

You don't speak for me.
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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Welcome
And goodbye.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Hello. How's your visit, so far?
Edited on Sun Jan-15-06 09:01 PM by Fridays Child
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. self delete
Edited on Sun Jan-15-06 09:04 PM by Fridays Child
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Does the taliban know you're awake
and communicating their message?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Why do you hate women and homosexuals?
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pinkpops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Most Amurkin people oppose the Iraq war. But
CONSERVATIVES (called u a name ha ha) only ask the people that
agree with them.  A "liberal" can't even get in when
Bubble Boy speaks.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. 
[link:www.democraticunderground.com/forums/rules.html|Click
here] to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. 
[link:www.democraticunderground.com/forums/rules.html|Click
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Equal Protection is enshrined IN THE CONSTITUTION!
It's one of our core principles. You can't just get rid of it
or say it doesn't matter. It's at the center of everything
the American government is supposed to be.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. I'm amazed that you can spell democracy
Edited on Mon Jan-16-06 09:42 AM by malaise
you people will say anything to shove your agenda down the
throats of rational people.  It's too late - your lies have
all been exposed. Your leader is a fascist and your fundie
church leaders are in bed with criminals and knows you're
'morans'.   Ignorance is bliss in lalafreeper land but I'm
not visiting that crazy place.

Edit - sp.
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linazelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. Gee luvRPgrl, take a wrong turn somewhere?
Edited on Mon Jan-16-06 10:08 AM by linazelle
"We no longer need the govt, courts or laws to prevent discrimination. The American people are above that. IF it had been left up to the people to get to this point, it would have happened, albet slower than govt action, but slower is usually better. WHich it would have been. But liberals love control by the minority over the majority.

Most Americans oppose partial birth abortion and same sex marriage, but the liberals are still supporting those values via judicial fiat, because they cant get the support of the general American public. Liberals do not believe in Democracy."



Last time I checked, the Constitution put the courts and congress and a president in charge to determine whether the peoples' rights are being violated. Nothing in the constitution absolves them of that responsibility.

As for liberals not believing in democracy--the Constitution says that we are a REPUBLIC--that is, the laws of this country are made of, by and for THE PEOPLE. Don't democrats want laws made on behald of the people?

Who is bringing the cases to court that you dislike? Ummm...people? Who are you suggesting the laws be made for?

Why do you advocate ignoring the constitution? If, as you say, liberals hate democracy then your kind hates the Constitution--and thus, America since the Constitution is the foundation on which our country was built.






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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
24. It make me sad that the freeper-troll got more posts than the OP . . .
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Excellent, thorough analysis.
Thanks for posting that.

-Laelth
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I wish Biden had just surrendered his time with Alito who knew what he was
talking about and was more interested in Alito's answers than Biden's questions.

God, I hope we filibuster, but I worry that we won't even be able to pull a straight party line vote against Alito.
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
10. good analysis of Alito.........
Edited on Sun Jan-15-06 09:06 PM by PDJane
Rather illogical post from Luvrgrl.

There are a rather large number of Americans who don't believe in human rights.......and same sex marriage is an indication of that particular quirk. Same sex marriage is a human rights issue.

Partial birth abortion is an inflammatory name for a procedure that isn't done unless there is a need to protect the mother's life, and rarely even then.

The idea of removing civil rights because the majority aren't enlightened enough to avoid the brainwashing is a ridiculously retrograde one. Removing them by appointing a bigoted corporate shill to the supreme court is even worse.
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
15. Another law professor's analysis from the same blog
The Alito Nomination: The Plot Thickens

Sandy Levinson

Several days ago, I posted a comment suggesting that the Alito nomination was part of a plot designed to reinforce Executive power and that the issue in particular of abortion was designed to serve as a distraction. An article in today's Washington Post that focuses on Adlito's views of executive power offers some support for this view of connecting the dots and explaining, for example, why the relatively obscure Judge Alito was selected instead of the substantially more distinguished Judge McConnell:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20... .

The most important paragraph is the following:

"Since the president's approval is just as important as that of the House or Senate, it seems to follow that the president's understanding of the bill should be just as important as that of Congress," Alito wrote. He later added that "by forcing some rethinking by courts, scholars, and litigants, it may help to curb some of the prevalent abuses of legislative history."

Important to whom, one might ask? The first answer is "internal": I.e., one might well view this as supporting the view that Department of Justice lawyers, including lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, which is at least as important as any given Federal Court of Appeals, should look to presidential undersanding when interpreting statutes. Only, presumably, in the absence of a signing statement, should any attention be paid to legislative history. Of course, if one is a strong Scalian, then it is not clear why a presidential signing statement should have any more authority than a committee report. Neither, according to Scalia, should be paid the slightest attention. This may suggest that Alito is less of a Scalia clone than has been suggested and that he is in fact more dangerous, at least if one fears Executive supremacy.

The second answer is more "external": I.e., what should courts do when faced with conflicting legislative and executive understandings, assuming that one doesn't ignore both a la Scalia. The answer, presumably, is to give priority to the President. If that's not what Alito means, it's hard to figure out exactly what he does mean to say. If one combines this rule with a version of James Bradley Thayer's "clear mistake rule" for exercising judicial review over presidential actions, then this is clearly a go-ahead for a basically unfettered President. It is extremely difficult to label any given legal opinion as truly "frivolous" and therefore a "clear mistake" when prestigious and institutinally well-located lawyers assert it. Such lawyers, of course, are part of the reference group for defining what we mean by a "professional consensus" necessary to establish something as "beyond the pale." It is one thing to accuse a fly-by-night lawyer of making unprofessional arguments. It is quite another to say this of otherwise well-respected and well-located lawyers. Can one really say, for example, that Cass Sunstein has revealed himself to be an incompent lawyer, as opposed to saying simply that one "respectfully disagrees" with his reading of the AUMF or Article II.

....
<http://balkin.blogspot.com/2006/01/alito-nomination-plo... >
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. abortion is a distraction, but people understand it
i wonder if we can get our republic back....
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. If the commerce clause and checks-and-balances were widely understood by
the public as fundamental constitutional values, Alito's nomination would be inconceivable. He is an unconscionable, politically-motivated-result-oriented judicial whore with no respect for precedent. An I the only one who shrieks whenever some describes him as a "conservative activist"? IF WORDS HAVE MEANING, THERE CAN BE NO SUCH THING AS A "CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST" BECAUSE "CONSERVATIVE" AND "ACTIVIST" HAVE IRRECONCILABLE DEFINITIONS! You can be a right-wing activist or a reactionary activist but the act of activism is inherently anti-conservative so there cannot be any such thing as a conservative activist.

It's a shame that Roe v. Wade is the only issue the MSM will cover because Alito and Roberts interpret the decision as allowing so many restrictions as to virtually nullify the rights enshrined in the decision but they won't likely overrule the decision because they won't need to.
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
18. JUDGE SAM ALITO IS THE DEATH OF CONSERVATISM
Anyone who is old enough or a good enough student to understand what today (MLK day) is about will recognize that Judge Sam Alito represents the death of conservatism.

In MLK's day, conservatism and liberalism were words worth meaning and not just brand names. Specifically, conservatism meant defending the White, male establishment. Liberalism meant a desire for reform of that white, male establishment. And there was a philosophy so radical that its name was scarcely part of the debate; that third alternative was not liberal or even conservative but "reactionary" -- meaning someone who is not satisfied with opposing liberal reform but who wants to lead society back to a fictional, idealized past.

In 1973, when CAP was founded, it was conservative in its opposition to admitting women and minorities to Princeton. By 1985, when Alito was still bragging about his CAP membership as one of his key ideological and philosophical guide-stars, CAP's agenda was no longer "conservative" -- it had been left behind by the times and, by the mid-'80s, it was positively "reactionary."

Alito's judicial philosophy is the same. He wants to take the checks-and-balances of governmental power between congress and the executive branch to go back to the time before FDR's New Deal. Even more disturbingly, Alito wants to take voting rights back to the time before MLK's historic triumphs. Activism is the definition for Alito's willingness -- his eagerness -- to ignore the past decades of established law to achieve his personally idealized view of the world the way it never really was. But that's not conservative. It's reactionary.

Please do not call Alito a conservative -- his views are neither as benign as that nor as mainstream. Alito is a radical extremist who is promoting a dangerous reactionary judicial agenda.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Well said - and that applies to the entire bush administration. nt
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
20. needs recommending...
send this to your Congress-critters
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-16-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. thanks
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