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|Davenport NAACP Opposes Alito|
|Commentary/Politics - Letters to the Editor|
|Tuesday, 24 January 2006 18:00|
As another concerned citizen of the Quad Cities and president of the Davenport Branch of the NAACP, I stand with and must reflect the national position in opposition to the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court.
Our position, and leading reasons for opposition, have been well represented over the national media and must be echoed here in the Quad Cities. The grassroots solidarity of the African-American community in conjunction with the many coalition groups recognize the influence we have in a democracy for change of policy or decision-making.
The following is a why we believe Mr. Samuel Alito must not be confirmed and why we take this view.
Voting rights (reapportionment, one person one vote): In a 1985 job-application essay, Alito stated that he disagreed with the Warren Court’s decisions on reapportionment. Judge Alito’s objection to this fundamental doctrine causes great concern over whether he is committed to the precedent of one person one vote.
Affirmative Action: An oral exam was added to the application to ensure that African-American applicants would not be unfairly disadvantaged by rankings based on written tests. Nine white police officers who passed the written tests but failed the oral tests sued. Judge Alito, writing for the court, upheld a verdict for white police officers despite its finding that the district judge had failed to properly instruct the jury on the appropriate liability standard.
Racial discrimination in employment: Alito strongly disagreed with a Third Circuit ruling vindicating the civil rights of an African-American woman who applied for a promotion with Marriott after Marriott did not follow its own guidelines for hiring and several of the key employees involved in the process gave conflicting statements about how the decision to hire the white woman was made. Alito would have immunized employers from the reach of Title VII if the employer’s belief that it had selected the “best” candidate was the result of conscious racial bias.
Racial discrimination in jury selection: Alito compared the discriminatory striking of African Americans from a jury as the same as the striking of presidents who were left-handed from a jury. The court wrote in disagreement with Alito that to suggest any comparability to the striking of jurors based on their race to left-handed presidents is to minimize the history of discrimination against prospective black jurors and black defendants.
Family & Medical Leave Act: Alito claimed that the federal government could not apply the Family & Medical Leave Act to state employees, a decision effectively reversed by the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court issues heard over the past years have maintained a fair balance that served the entire country and the interest of the many over the few. It seems this appointment will lead the court to favor a particular interest group, which our Constitution and the creed of this nation would lead me to believe is illegal.
So it is with this letter and the appeal to the deciding body of our nation to take into account the will and interest of the nation’s rank and file, and the many people and groups in opposition, and allow Mr. Samuel Alito to find other employment options.
Quad Citians, weigh in with your senators on this critical appointment. We need a court that balances the views on either side of the political spectrum and upholds the checks and balances so critical to our system of government.
T.K. Anderson, President
Davenport NAACP Branch
Bill Would Protect Patients
Every patient deserves a registered nurse, especially in one of the most important areas in the hospital, the surgical suite or operating room. As a registered nurse for 43 years and a member of the Illinois Nurses Association, I believe patients are most vulnerable when undergoing surgical procedures and/or under general anesthesia.
Senate Bill 2238 mandates that a registered nurse qualified by training and experience in operating-room nursing shall be present in the operating room and function as the circulating nurse during all invasive or operative procedures. The circulating nurse is responsible for coordinating all nursing care, patient-safety needs, and the needs of the surgical team in the operating room. Anything less than a registered nurse in this position puts every patient who has surgery at risk. Please contact your Illinois state senator and ask them to support and vote yes for Senate Bill 2238.
P. Joan Larsen, RN
See Alito’s Record for Yourself
If Judge Samuel Alito is appointed to the Supreme Court, it will be devastating for women and the rights we have struggled long and hard to achieve. But this nomination is not just about women’s rights; it’s about individual rights. This judge has a pattern of ruling on the side of the big corporations and institutions, not the little guy like you and me who make up most of us in this country. Many of Alito’s documented rulings and dissenting opinions have been overruled by higher courts, which proves him to be dangerously out of the mainstream.
The Supreme Court is an individual’s last chance at justice. It is vital that the Supreme Court maintain the balance it’s had for decades, a balance that reflects the diversity that makes us America. The vacancy on the Supreme Court is way too important to just rubber-stamp the president’s nominee. These justices are appointed lifetime positions and can affect the nation for decades to come.
Please, do your research, check out (http://www.now.org), and see Judge Alito’s record for yourself. If you care about your personal freedoms and rights as individuals, I urge you to take action now. Phone your senators and express your opposition to Judge Alito. Judge Alito’s appointment should be denied by the Americans and by Congress, and if it takes a filibuster to defeat this nominee, then we need to support our Congress to do so.
Quad Cities National Organization for Women
Progressive Action for the Common Good – Women’s Issues Forum
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