Fox News Blocks Anti-Alito Ad

Bush Nominee Gets An Assist from the "Fair & Balanced" Network

WASHINGTON – Fox News Channel is refusing to air an ad sponsored by a coalition of public interest organizations critical of the record of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. The ad, produced by IndependentCourt.org, has been accepted by CNN and by network affiliates at the state level.

Fox News Channel’s behavior makes a mockery of its claim to be “fair and balanced.” It has no problem running ads by Alito’s supporters, including Progress for America, but it is playing games to keep a real discussion of Alito’s record off the air.

Fox News told IndependentCourt.org that it would not run the ad because it uses the words “ruling” and “voted” in reference to a dissenting opinion issued by Alito as a federal circuit judge. Using “voted” and “ruled” or “ruling” to apply to judges’ actions – both in the majority and in dissent – are commonplace in the media and across the political spectrum, as the examples below make clear.

Supporters of Judge Alito are spending extraordinary sums to distract Americans’ attention from his record and judicial philosophy – and from how he would undermine individuals’ rights and legal protections if confirmed to the Supreme Court. Americans deserve to learn the truth about the record and judicial philosophy of a nominee to our nation’s highest court, and we will work tirelessly to get the word out.

Examples on “Ruling” or “Ruled”:

  • “And in Casey, which came before him on its way to the Supreme Court, [Alito] ruled that requiring a pregnant woman to notify her husband before getting an abortion is not an undue burden on her right to privacy. (Boston Globe, November 1, 2005. Alito was in the minority for the spousal notification provision of Casey.)
  • “Justices to Hear Prison Case Alito Ruled On. As an appellate judge, the high court nominee sided against inmates and with state officials.”(Los Angeles Times, November 15, 2005, referring to a case in which Alito dissented.)
  • “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who has known Alito – based in Philadelphia – for decades, estimated that the judge has ruled in 3,750 cases and written 300 opinions.” (Chicago Sun Times, November 1, 2005.)

Examples on “Voted”:

  • “As a judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito voted to uphold a Pennsylvania statute passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor that required women to notify their husbands before getting an abortion.” (Ann Coulter, Wilkes Barre Times Leader, November 6, 2005.)
  • “As a judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito voted in favor of part of a law that would have required wives to notify their husbands before getting an abortion.” (NPR, All Things Considered, November 14, 2005.)
  • “In 1996, Judge Alito voted to strike down a recently enacted federal law that limited the possession of machine guns, in the case of United States v. Rybar.” (New York Times, November 6, 2005.)
  • “In the 1992 case of Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, Alito voted to uphold a Pennsylvania law requiring women to notify their husbands before having an abortion.” (Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2005.)

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