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    People for the American Way (PFAW) just released a report on Alito - read on...

    PFAW's Opposition to Alito's Nomination

    On January 9th, hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito, Jr. are scheduled to begin.  Alito is to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been the swing vote on a closely divided Court in cases involving civil rights, reproductive freedom, environmental protections, and other constitutional liberties and issues.  Alito's confirmation, however, threatens to swing the Court decisively to the right, jeopardizing the rights of Americans for generations to come.  After an extensive review of Alito's legal and judicial record, People For the American Way has released a comprehensive pre-hearing report highlighting the risks posed by his nomination.

    Our report documents that Alito has been the most frequent dissenter among all of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals judges since his appointment, with more than 90% of his dissents taking positions more conservative than those of his colleagues.  He has sought to limit congressional authority to enact legislation protecting the health, safety, and welfare of Americans, in the name of "constitutional federalism."  He has also described himself as an advocate of the "unitary executive" theory, which the current Administration has tried to use to justify its unilateral assertions of broad power.

    Recently, many Americans were stunned to learn that President Bush had illegally approved the wiretapping of hundreds to thousands of Americans without any judicial authorization.  At a time when the Administration has clearly abused its power, it is even more crucial that the Court serve as an independent check on the executive branch.  Yet Alito has argued -- while in the Solicitor General's Office -- that Cabinet officials who authorize illegal wiretaps of Americans in this country to gather intelligence about possible terrorist activities are entitled to absolute immunity from any legal liability.

    PFAWF's Response to National Security Agency's Illegal Surveillance

    On December 29, 2005, PFAWF filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking information on the NSA's illegal wiretaps on Americans, including the number of people wiretapped by the NSA.  To see a copy of the letter and related materials, visit

    PFAW's Lawyers' Network: Actions You Can Take

    As a member of the legal community, you understand what is at stake during this important moment in American history.  Please click here to urge your Senators to oppose the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Please consider forwarding this email to interested colleagues, and invite them to review our pre-hearing report on Alito's record.  Please also let them know that joining the PFAW Lawyers' Network is easy: just visit to sign up for special lawyers' alerts and other targeted mailings.

    Many thanks to those of you who helped us review Samuel Alito's numerous appellate opinions and other documents associated with his legal and judicial record.  We could not have put this together without you!  If you have not previously expressed interest in volunteering and would like to be part of our volunteer legal team, please contact us at  As always, we are grateful for your dedication in these efforts to strengthen civil liberties and defend the Court.

    Thank you for your membership in the Lawyers' Network of People For the American Way!  Happy New Year!

    by Alegre on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:31:35 PM PST

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