Filibuster Effort Shows Intensity of Alito Opposition

Filibuster vote, expected tally on final confirmation demonstrate depth of opposition to Alito record and judicial philosophy

Following today’s 72-25 vote to cut off debate on the nomination of Samuel Alito, People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas had the following statement:

“Senators who voted to extend debate did everything possible to defeat the nomination of Samuel Alito to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. They also upheld the Senate’s crucial role in our system of checks and balances. We believe that time will confirm the wisdom of their attempt to defeat this nominee.

“Samuel Alito’s record tells us that the rights and liberties of every American will be significantly weakened over the decades that Alito is likely to serve on the Supreme Court. His well-documented record is why he was supported so enthusiastically by far-right activists. If he is true to that record, he will side far more often with the rights of the powerful against the powerless, favor corporations and big government against the rights and privacy of individuals, seek to roll back a woman’s right to choose, and undermine legal protections for women, immigrants, minorities, and Americans with disabilities. He will stand aside while the executive branch claims excessive power to intrude on Americans’ privacy and legal protections, but will vote to restrict the ability of Congress to protect the health, safety and welfare of Americans and our communities.

We are grateful for the leadership shown by senators who worked to prevent Samuel Alito’s confirmation to a lifetime seat on our nation’s highest court, and it is excruciatingly disappointing that more senators did not consider Alito’s record sufficient reason to join those efforts.

“It is unfortunate that President Bush chose such a divisive nominee, rather than a mainstream conservative who could have received widespread bipartisan support. Even before the final vote is cast, it is clear that Samuel Alito will face the most Senate opposition since Clarence Thomas. In fact, Alito will be second only to Thomas in the number of senators voting against a nominee who is confirmed to the Supreme Court.”

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