News Release

Alito Nomination: · Imperial Presidency Fears · Environmental Groups’ First Opposition Since Bork

[Imperial Presidency Fears:]

Avery is president of the National Lawyers Guild and professor of constitutional law at Suffolk University. He said today: “We are particularly concerned that Samuel Alito will not impose necessary limits on presidential power and insist upon the checks and balances required by the Constitution. His long membership in the Federalist Society and his writings demonstrate that he believes in the Imperial Presidency, which is unfortunately what George W. Bush has been trying to create.”

Boghosian is executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. She said today: “On this occasion the Guild agrees with the judgment of the National Association of Manufacturers, that Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court will be good for big business. But we think it is more mportant to ask what will be good for ordinary Americans and the country as a whole.”
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Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and wrote the article “Bush Taps ‘Scalia-lite’ to Replace O’Connor.” She said today: “Alito’s record in the Reagan administration and as a federal court judge demonstrates a clear deference to executive power and to corporations at the expense of individual rights. There is a grave danger that, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, Alito would rubber stamp Bush’s unprecedented claims that, as commander-in-chief, the president is above the law when it comes to torture, holding prisoners indefinitely, and spying on Americans.”
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In 1970, Pyle disclosed the U.S. military’s surveillance of civilian politics and worked as a consultant to three Congressional committees, including the Church Committee. He is currently a professor at Mount Holyoke College, co-author of the book The President, Congress, and the Constitution and author of the book Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics. He said today: “The Bush administration’s claims to inherent executive power to wiretap without court orders, torture alleged terrorists, or try them before military tribunals, present the country with a constitutional crisis that may be resolved in favor of unchecked presidential power if Judge Alito joins the Supreme Court.”
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[Environmental Groups’ First Opposition Since Bork:]

Zdeb is legislative director with Friends of the Earth. She said today: “Friends of the Earth joins our partners in the environmental community in announcing our opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. Our announcement marks the first time that environmental organizations have opposed a Supreme Court nominee since the 1987 nomination of Robert Bork — underscoring just how big of a threat we believe Judge Alito poses to our environment. … When it comes to the constitutional questions that will determine the ability of Congress to pass environmental laws and the ability of citizens to access courts to enforce them, Judge Alito threatens to drive the Court in a decidedly anti-environment direction. … Judge Alito’s record indicates that he’s likely to side with those who oppose a strong Clean Water Act. His record also bodes poorly for future cases challenging the Endangered Species Act and other important laws. Judge Alito has also voted to shut courthouse doors to citizens concerned about their environment.”
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Parker is executive director of Earthjustice. Sugameli is senior judicial counsel of the organization. Sugameli said today: “Judge Alito’s record indicates that he would pursue his own extreme legal theories to create new barriers that prevent the enactment and enforcement of national laws that protect families and communities from pollution.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167