America Loses with Premature Shut Down of Alito Debate

Media 01.30,06

“The U.S. Senate is supposed to be democracy’s model of free and open debate. In this vein, every senator should have the opportunity to address Samuel Alito’s outrageous civil rights record and his ‘outside-of-the mainstream’ views. But, instead of allowing a full, open and thorough debate, Senate leaders short circuited and shut down the opportunity for America’s citizens to hear all sides. We are proud of the 25 senators who held their ground and stood up for full debate and the protection of our individual rights and freedoms.

Alito’s deplorable record on civil rights should be of deep concern to every member of the Senate. Throughout his career, Alito has routinely favored a reading of the law that curtails the rights of individuals, limits remedies available to them, and undermines the power of our elected officials to protect those individuals. His record clearly indicates, and his testimony only reinforces the conclusion, that he favors gutting protections for employees who have been discriminated against and putting states’ rights before the government’s ability to protect the rights of ordinary Americans.

Opposition to Alito isn’t personal and it shouldn’t be political. This is a vitally important nomination and deserves nothing less than a real debate. America needs to hear why Alito isn’t an acceptable candidate for Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat. The Senate isn’t a rubber stamp. Those who voted for open debate today and those who are opposing this nomination are standing up for every American’s rights and freedoms and we recognize and commend their courage.”

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The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. For more information on LCCR visit