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From: "Ben Brandzel, MoveOn.org Political Action" <moveon-help@list.moveon.org>
To: "Alexander J. Sagady" <ajs@sagady.com>
Subject: Emergency petition to stop Alito

Today President Bush caved to pressure from the far right and nominated the notoriously radical judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Today we're joining the campaign to stop him by aiming to collect 250,000 signatures in 48 hours. Can you sign today?

For quick facts on Judge Alito, please see the fact sheets from
The American Progress Action Fund
or People For the American Way
Dear MoveOn member,

This morning, with his administration growing weaker by the day, President Bush caved to pressure from the radical fringe of the Republican Party and nominated Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Alito is a notoriously right-wing judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He has consistently ruled to strip basic protections from workers, women, minorities and the disabled in favor of unchecked power for corporations and special interests.

That's why today we're joining the fight with an emergency petition to the Senate, calling on them to stand up for ordinary Americans and reject Alito's nomination. We're aiming to gather a quarter million signatures and comments in the next 48 hours.

Can you sign today?


Bush's ploy to woo the far-right could reshape the High Court for decades to come­but we don't have to let that happen. The president's rock-bottom approval ratings and the scandals engulfing virtually every Republican leader have broken the spell of the right-wing spin machine. If we all speak up, together we have the power to stop this radical nominee.

Only hours after the nomination, the battle lines are already clear. Leading progressive groups that specialize in protecting the Court (including People For the American Way and the Alliance for Justice) have already launched an emergency campaign to defeat Alito's nomination1­a step they did not take with either John Roberts or Harriet Miers.

The far-right, on the other hand, is thrilled. Organizations who vigorously opposed Harriet Miers for not being conservative enough are "elated,"2 and far-right leaders from Pat Robertson3 to Trent Lott4 are singing Alito's praise.

Judge Samuel Alito is widely known as "Scalito" because he so closely follows the far-right judicial philosophy of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.5

Here's a summary of just some of the core protections that Alito would threaten:6

Basic Rights for Working Families
As a judge on the Appeals Court, Alito issued a ruling to gut the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one in an emergency. The Supreme Court effectively overturned that ruling in 2003­but if Alito were on the Supreme Court he would pose a grave threat to the basic rights of working families.

Civil Rights (in the workplace and beyond)
In separate cases, Alito wrote dissenting opinions that would have made it essentially impossible to prove employment discrimination based on race or disability. He was overruled and harshly criticized by his colleagues, but if he were on the Supreme Court he could turn back the clock on decades of progress in securing civil rights for minorities and the disabled.

A Woman's Right to Choose
Alito's judicial record and published views make him widely regarded as a sure vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. The extremist anti-abortion group Operation Rescue (who opposed Harriet Miers) responded to Alito's nomination today by saying: "Roe's days are numbered...We are trusting that we are now on the fast-track to derailing Roe v. Wade as the law of the land."7 If Alito were on the Supreme Court, reproductive freedom would be in serious jeopardy.

Privacy and Civil Liberties
In one significant case, Alito wrote a dissenting oppinion that would have allowed an unauthorized strip search of a woman and her 10 year-old daughter, in their own home, without a warrant. Again, Alito was outvoted and strongly criticized by his fellow judges, but if he were to join Thomas and Scalia on the Supreme Court he would pose a grave threat to civil liberties and individual freedoms.

Democrats in Washington are already speaking out. Here are few highlights:

"If confirmed, Alito could very well fundamentally alter the balance of the court and push it dangerously to the right, placing at risk decades of American progress in safeguarding our fundamental rights and freedoms."
?Sen. Ted Kennedy8

"It's sad that [Bush] felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America."
?Sen Charles Schumer9

"Has the right wing now forced a weakened President to nominate a divisive justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia?"
?Sen. John Kerry10

"President Bush has...made a selection to appease the far right-wing of the Republican Party."
?Sen. Barak Obama11

"Last week after Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination, I asked the President: Who was in charge? Today, the President answered: the radical conservative right is in charge of this Administration."
?House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi12
"I look forward to...learning why those who want to pack the Court with judicial activists are so much more enthusiastic about him than they were about Harriet Miers."
?Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid13

If we can gather 250,000 signatures in the next 48 hours, it will make a powerful first impression in the media, and the Senate. We can show that ordinary Americans will not let a failing president sacrifice the Supreme Court, and all the rights it protects, in a political game.

No one knows how this nomination will end, but the Supreme Court is the last chance at justice for millions of Americans, and we all have a stake in this fight.

Please sign today:


Thanks for all you do.

?Ben, Joan, Wes, Tanya and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
  Monday, October 31st 2005


1. See People for the American Way and The Alliance for Justice

2. See the statement of Manuel Miranda, Chair of the Third Branch Conference
"This time, Liberals Voice Oppostion" CNSNews.com, October 31st, 2005
3 "Bush Picks Alito for Supreme Court" NBC News, October 31st, 2005

4 Statement by Senator Trent Lott, October 31st, 2005

5 "Bloggers React to Supreme Court Nomination," Reuters, October 31st, 2005

6 The issues and cases highlighted above are cited from The American Progress Action Fund fact sheet, available at:

For more information on these issues and cases, please see the extended reports prepared by People for the American Way, and the Alliance for Justice , available at:
* http://www.supremecourtwatch.org/alitoprelim1031.pdf
* http://media.pfaw.org/stc/AlitoPreliminary.pdf

7 Statement of Operation Rescue, October 31st, 2005

8 Statement of Senator Edward Kennedy, October 31st, 2005

9 "Why Bish Picked Alito" Time October 31st, 2005

10 CBS4 Boston, October 31st, 2005

11 Satement of Senator Barak Obama, October 31st, 2005

12 Statement of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, October 31st, 2005

13 Statement of Senator Harry Reid, October 31st, 2005 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1085

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