Anti-Scalito Camp Gets Vocal
Texas Coalition for an Independent Judiciary voices opposition to Alito's Supreme Court bid with a stack of petitions containing more than 15,000 signatures
Although the petitions are unlikely to sway Cornyn's apparent support for Alito, the TCIJ which includes NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and People for the American Way isn't the only group concerned with Alito's views on issues such as civil liberties and reproductive rights. Last week, 500 law school professors signed on to a letter addressed to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chair of the Judiciary Committee, and to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee's ranking minority member, explaining their opposition. The letter, signed Jan. 5, describes Alito, who has served on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for 15 years, as a jurist with a "record of trying to push the law sharply to the right." Although President George W. Bush pledged to nominate a justice who "embraces the principle of judicial restraint" to replace the centrist O'Connor, the lawyers wrote, "Alito often reaches his [legal] conclusions by overturning or weakening federal statutes, diminishing constitutional safeguards, and hollowing out precedent." Among the signatories are three professors from the University of Houston Law Center and two from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio. Interestingly, no UT Law professors signed on to the opposition letter. To read it, go to www.allianceforjustice.org.