Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) made the following statement on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court late last week.“At the end of the Alito hearings, I am deeply disturbed about this nomination. It is not Judge Alito’s qualifications that concern me; clearly he is intelligent and capable. Rather, in three days of questioning, he refused to back away from some of his most controversial past statements and positions. “When asked repeatedly about a 1985 memo in which he wrote that the Constitution does not protect the right of a women to choose, Judge Alito would not disavow that statement, and he refused to concede that Roe v. Wade is settled law. I believe these ominous statements clearly signal a hostility to women’s rights, and I worry that we will go back to the very dark days when abortion was illegal in many states.“Judge Alito’s support for a more powerful executive branch is also troubling. In the past, he has endorsed the controversial theory of the ‘unitary executive,’ which would give the President broad powers not subject to control by Congress. In the hearings, Judge Alito would not even rule out the President invading another country, in the absence of imminent threat, without first getting congressional authorization.“Another area that disturbs me is Judge Alito’s continued narrow reading of Congress’s authority under the Constitution to make laws that protect families. He continued to defend his opinion in the Rybar case that Congress couldn’t ban machine guns, even though the Supreme Court ultimately said he was wrong, and he refused to back away from an opinion that narrowed the Family and Medical Leave Act. “In addition to these serious substantive concerns, I remain unconvinced by Judge Alito’s answers to questions about his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton club, an extremist group that was hostile to the inclusion of women and minorities at the University. And I am still amazed that Judge Alito did not recuse himself from the Vanguard case.”
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