Alito: Not the Centrist Voice We Need
By Bill Nelson
January 27, 2006
The gospel promises all of us impartiality at judgment, a principle that also is embedded deep in our constitutional democracy.
That’s why I believe in an America where courts address injustice and correct it – and, why I believe in an America where our judges serve the people by interpreting the Constitution without agenda.
Soon, the Supreme Court will hear cases about protecting our personal privacy from government and corporate intrusion, and about the sharing of power between Congress and the president. Through these decisions, the Supreme Court could change our lives for many years to come.
After Judge Samuel Alito’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee, I felt concerned that he more often ruled in favor of big government and big corporations over the ordinary American.
When I met with him, I explained how much a recent Supreme Court decision allowing the government to seize homes for private development has unnerved many of my constituents. I was disappointed when Judge Alito offered no misgivings about such reasoning.
I always have greeted judicial nominations with an open mind, voting for 96 percent of President Bush's nominees, including Chief Justice John Roberts, but Judge Alito’s legal writings, judicial opinions and evasive answers convinced me he would tilt the scales of justice against the average Joe.
Because Judge Alito is not the centrist voice I believe this nation needs to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who fiercely defended the rights and liberties of all Americans, I will vote against his confirmation.
The author is Florida’s senior U.S. senator.