Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bush nominee threatens liberal democracy

Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito, threatens to be one of the most right-wing justices ever to serve on that august body. He is a radical proponent of the idea that the President is effectively above the law on issues such as torture and wiretapping, and appears to feel that his mission in life is to reverse the social change that has occurred since the 1960s. Bush's legacy could be a court that casts a shadow over American democracy for a generation.

In the Reagan justice department, he argued that the federal government had no responsibility for the "health, safety and welfare" of Americans (a view rejected by Reagan); that "the constitution does not protect the right to an abortion"; that the executive should be immune from liability for illegal domestic wiretapping; that illegal immigrants have no "fundamental rights"; that police had a right to kill an unarmed 15-year-old accused of stealing $10 (a view rejected by the supreme court and every police group that filed in the case); and that it should be legal to fire, and exclude from funded federal programmes, people with Aids, because of "fear of contagion ... reasonable or not".

Against the majority of his court and six other federal courts, he argued that federal regulation of machine guns was unconstitutional. He approved the strip search of a mother and her daughter although they were not named in a warrant, a decision denounced by fellow judge Michael Chertoff, now secretary of homeland security. And Alito backed a law requiring women to tell husbands if they want an abortion, which was overturned by the supreme court on the vote of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Alito almost makes me think that Harriet "you're the best president EVER" Miers would have been a preferable choice...

1 comment:

Ray said...

I notice Martin Garbus is not a big fan of Mr Alito, either. Perhaps there should be a stronger push to get access to the 45 documents on the nominee that the Bush administration has withheld. They would likely provide a clearer picture of his suitability for the post than the hearings are doing.