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E-M:/ Earthjustice statements on Alito decision



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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 Alito Confirmation is a Major Setback for Public Health, Environment
 Clean water cases could be first test of Alito's Supreme Court stance
 
 January 31, 2006                                               Contact:
 Glenn Sugameli or Cat Lazaroff, 202-667-4500
 
 Washington DC - Today, after heated debate, Judge Samuel Alito Jr. was
 confirmed by the Senate to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. Forty
 Democrats, one Republican, and one Independent voted against Judge
 Alito's nomination. Judge Alito's confirmation poses an immediate
 threat to America's commitment to protecting safe drinking water and
 the health of the vast majority of our creeks, streams and wetlands. 
 
 "Earthjustice is profoundly disappointed that the U.S. Senate
 confirmed Judge Alito," said Earthjustice Executive Director Buck
 Parker. "We knew going in that this was an uphill battle. But the
 stakes were too high for us to stay out of the fight. The American
 public needed to know about Judge Alito's record of siding with
 polluters over communities." 
 
 Judge Alito received more "no" votes than any other confirmed Supreme
 Court nominee in the last 100 years except Justice Clarence Thomas.
 
 Earthjustice and more than 60 other conservation groups urged the
 Senate to oppose the confirmation of Judge Alito due to concerns that
 he would roll back protections for public health and the environment.
 That threat is not hypothetical. By June, Justice Alito will have a
 chance to rule on two cases that could result in the loss of clean
 water protections that America has relied upon for more than 30 years.
 Earthjustice has filed a "friend of the court" brief in these cases on
 behalf of eight environmental groups, joining an unprecedented array
 of local, state, and federal government officials, hunting and fishing
 advocacy groups, scientists, and others in supporting protections for
 all our nation's waters.
 
 Judge Alito's record includes decisions that threaten environmental
 laws passed by Congress, and the ability of citizens and government
 agencies to ensure that these laws are enforced. His position on l
 Congress' constitutional authority to pass laws that protect the
 health and welfare of ordinary Americans could radically undermine the
 fundamental safeguards that communities depend upon to protect them
 from toxic pollution.
 
 From the committee hearings to the Senate's floor debate to editorials
 and media coverage across the country, Judge Alito's extreme record on
 environmental safeguards was a major point of contention. Many
 senators, including more than a dozen who had voted to confirm Chief
 Justice John Roberts, cited issues that had been raised by
 Earthjustice and other environmental groups in their decisions to
 oppose Judge Alito. 
 
 "We're grateful to the principled Senators who opposed Alito's
 confirmation," said Glenn Sugameli, Senior Judicial Counsel at
 Earthjustice. "Their commitment to protecting the rights and
 protections of all Americans will certainly be remembered."
 
 While Earthjustice and other conservation groups expressed concerns
 about the record of Chief Justice John Roberts, none took a position
 on his confirmation. In fact, Judge Alito was the first Supreme Court
 nominee environmental groups had opposed since Judge Bork in 1987.
 ###
 
 For more information on Judge Alito's record, visit:
 http://www.earthjustice.org/policy/judicial/whats_new/index.html#alito

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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