Alito is anti-affirmative action. What are the community thoughts on this?
He was a member of the "Concerned Alumni of Princeton", aka CAP. A conservative group, which in the 70s opposed minority student enrollment based on affirmative action.
Just look at the quote below from Alito:
"I am and always have been a conservative and an adherent to the same philosophical views that I believe are central to this Administration,".... "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 a right to an abortion."
However, the proof is in the pudding...
Should a judge with a long, clear and consistent record of ruling against discrimination victims be given an opportunity to have the last word on civil rights laws that impact the entire nation?
Should a judge who objects to the cases establishing the well-settled principle of one-person, one-vote be placed in a position to affect the voting rights of millions of African Americans throughout the country?
Should a judge who boasted of membership in an anti-affirmative action group and compares affirmative action to slavery be given the deciding vote that determines whether affirmative action stays or goes?
These are some of the many questions raised by the National Urban League's careful and thorough analysis of the record of Judge Samuel Alito, President Bush's nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. The answers led the National Urban League last week to unequivocally oppose the nomination.
The National Urban League arrived at this decision after a careful and exhaustive review of Judge Alito's record, judicial philosophy, and professional qualifications. Our examination reveals that, throughout his career, Judge Alito has demonstrated an insensitivity to the fundamental principles of civil rights and consistently interpreted the Constitution and laws in a manner that undermines equality of opportunity and social justice. If elevated to the Supreme Court, he is likely to shift the Court even further away from its role as the final protector of the rights of all of America's people.
Our study found that Judge Alito, throughout his career, has vigorously opposed affirmative action, one-person-one-vote, and other civil rights remedies that protect millions of Americans from discrimination to such a degree that it seems to thwart his ability to fairly apply our civil rights laws. In case after case, Judge Alito has ruled against discrimination victims, criminal defendants, and others who turned to his court for redress of wrongs. In fact, not once, in 15 years, has Judge Alito written a majority opinion in favor of an African American alleging discrimination. He has demonstrated an unwavering adherence to a rigid ideology but seems to lack any understanding of how discrimination impacts real people and why civil rights remedies have been and remain necessary.
Our report also reveals that Judge Alito's opposition to these fundamental principles is deep-rooted and long-standing. For example, Judge Alito has expressed great pride about his days as a full-on player in the Reagan Administration's relentless attack on affirmative action, boasting in a 1985 job application of his involvement in cases in which the Administration argued "that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed." However, during his tenure, Alito did not fight against illegal quotas. Instead, he actively worked to dismantle legal affirmative action and curtail the ability of the courts to remedy discrimination against African Americans, women and others.
Among other things, Alito helped write a Supreme Court brief that included some of the more bizarre and misguided arguments we've seen against affirmative action. For example, in urging the Court to invalidate a Michigan school policy that allowed white teachers to be laid off first in order to protect the jobs of black teachers, he argued that affirmative action was tantamount to slavery because, he wrote, "it may still advance some and suppress others not as individuals but because of the color of their skin." He also surmised, "Henry Aaron would not be regarded as the all-time home run king, and he would not have been a model for youth, if the fences had been moved in whenever he came to the plate.
Judge Alito has been nominated to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who often was the all-important "swing" vote on the Court in civil rights cases. Although clearly a conservative with whom we often disagreed, Justice O'Connor was a fair and open-minded judge who decided cases without a unshakeable political ideology. She was frequently the deciding vote in decisions affecting civil rights and in many cases made the difference between maintaining important civil rights protections and losing them altogether. Justice O'Connor's successor will have the power to drastically tip the balance of the Court from conservative-leaning body to a far right institution that would tear down long-standing and fundamental civil rights protections. Judge Alito's stated opposition to reasonable and established civil rights remedies and voting rights protections, and his consistent record of ruling against victims of discrimination a make it likely that he would do just that.
Some of Judge Alito's supporters stress that he is a brilliant man and accuse the civil rights community of besmirching his character and questioning his decency. But this is not about Alito's character. It's about his record. Judge Alito may be a fine man. But his record makes him unsuitable for the U.S. Supreme Court.
We urge the Senate not to turn its back on the African American community on this important vote. Eloquent speeches proclaiming a commitment to civil rights mean little when followed by a "yes" vote that rewards yet another anti-civil rights judge a lifetime appointment where they will do substantial and possibly irreparable damage to those very same rights. The United States Senate must uphold the Constitution and protect the people they serve by rejecting this nomination and demanding the appointment of judges who will respect, not undermine, our civil rights.