Press Releases 2006

Catholics for a Free Choice Opposes Alito Nomination to Supreme Court

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Judge’s claim to “open mindedness” disputed by own words and actions.

WASHINGTON DC—Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) today announced its opposition to the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Serving on the highest court in the land takes a fundamental commitment to the individual rights enshrined in the Constitution. These include the rights of women to make decisions about their bodies; the rights of employees to seek judicial relief when they feel they have been discriminated against based on race or gender; a belief in the ‘one person, one vote’ doctrine that has been a pillar of American democracy; and an understanding that all citizens of the United States have equal standing under the law regardless of which religious tradition they identify with, if any,” wrote Frances Kissling, president of the organization, in a letter to the judiciary committee members. “Throughout his time on the federal bench, Judge Alito has not shown an allegiance to these principles and has in fact, in many cases, shown hostility to them.”

CFFC did not initially oppose the nomination of Judge Alito, but after careful consideration of public documents released by relevant government agencies and published interviews with and statements from the nominee himself during the first days of the confirmation hearing, CFFC concluded that “[t]hrough his words, his legal actions and his incontrovertible actions to date…. Judge Alito cannot be counted on to protect the individual rights and freedoms of Americans who count on the federal judiciary to protect them from undue burdens imposed by ideologically driven governments and administration officials.”

“Equally important is the integrity and character of the man or woman being nominated,” Kissling wrote the committee. “This integrity includes a consistent view of the law and a guarantee that the principles espoused by the nominee are based on sound legal reasoning and conscience—and not based upon which political appointment or job they are applying for at the time. Judge Alito has an unfortunate and well-documented history of changing his positions on key personal rights based upon which position in government he is being considered for. To us, this suggests a nominee whose values in public service are not grounded in principles, integrity and respect for individual rights, but in the politics and personal ideology of the moment.”

Said Kissling, “Given his belief that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion and his personal view is that abortion is morally untenable, it would be foolhardy to accept his claim of open mindedness.”

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Click here to read a copy of the letter sent by Frances Kissling to the members of the Judiciary Committee.

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.