BOO! Bush announced his pick for the Supreme Court today, and my hair is standing on end. Thanks to Lori for sending me a feminist lawyer's summary of where Mr. Alito stands on issues of interest, courtesy of ThinkProgress.org. Scared yet? The fright fest continues...
_ ALITO WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE: In his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980's. Alito went further, however, saying the majority was wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion. The Supreme Court later rejected Alito's view, voting to reaffirm Roe v. Wade. [Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1991]
_ ALITO WOULD ALLOW RACE-BASED DISCRIMINATION: Alito dissented from a decision in favor of a Marriott Hotel manager who said she had been discriminated against on the basis of race. The majority explained that Alito would have protected racist employers by "immuniz[ing] an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer's belief that it had selected the 'best' candidate was the result of conscious racial bias." [Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 1997]
_ ALITO WOULD ALLOW DISABILITY-BASED DISCRIMINATION: In Nathanson v.Medical College of Pennsylvania, the majority said the standard for proving disability-based discrimination articulated in Alito's dissent was so restrictive that "few if any...cases would survive summary judgment." [Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991]
_ ALITO WOULD STRIKE DOWN THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one. The 2003 Supreme Court ruling upholding FMLA [Nevada v. Hibbs, 2003] essentially reversed a 2000 decision by Alito which found that Congress exceeded its power in passing the law. [Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, 2000].
_ALITO SUPPORTS UNAUTHORIZED STRIP SEARCHES: In Doe v. Groody, Alito argued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home. [Doe v. Groody, 2004].
_ALITO HOSTILE TOWARD IMMIGRANTS: In two cases involving the deportation of immigrants, the majority twice noted Alito's disregard of settled law. In Dia v. Ashcroft, the majority opinion states that Alito's dissent "guts the statutory standard" and "ignores our precedent." In Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, the majority stated Alito's opinion contradicted "well-recognized rules of statutory construction." [Dia v. Ashcroft, 2003; Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 2004].