“In confirming Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Senate today let down the nation and put our fundamental rights and freedoms at grave risk.
Alito was not a consensus choice; the opposition was strong and deep. In fact, more Senators voted against Samuel Alito than against any nominee since Clarence Thomas. It is no wonder. Alito’s appointment turns the Court sharply to the right. Americans will now find it much more difficult to fight discrimination, protect our privacy, preserve our full protections under the Family & Medical Leave Act, and much more. Today’s vote is a grave setback for the Court and the nation.
We commend every Senator who voted against Alito today for taking a principled stand and not bowing to partisan pressure from the White House.
President Bush could have used this nomination to unite the country behind a mainstream nominee. Instead, he put his allegiance to the far right ahead of the interests of the nation, and forced this bitter and divisive battle. It is especially painful that the President’s efforts to undermine civil rights and women’s rights advances on the very day we lost Coretta Scott King, a civil rights pioneer who spent her life fighting for fairness and freedom. This is a sad day indeed.”