The Religious Right is predictably praising the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
The Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, released the following statement this morning:
"President Bush is to be applauded for his choice of Judge Samuel Alito to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Court. The President has kept his commitment to appoint an individual who will faithfully interpret the Constitution. Judge Alito is an experienced judge with an extensive record of decisions in his 29 years of public service including 15 years as a judge. He has the well-reasoned judicial philosophy that is needed at this moment in history on the Court. I intend to work full-time for as long as it takes to get Judge Alito confirmed by the Senate."
The Traditional Values Coalition and their partners (groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council) are opposed to basic civil rights for women and other minorities.
Many leaders of the Religious Right opposed the president's first choice for the court, Harriett Miers, for not being conservative enough. Alito is clearly more to their liking and has a record of sharing their views.
The nomination, however, is drawing fire from civil rights organizations.
"Caving to the will of the radical right, President Bush has nominated a judicial activist with a record hostile to civil rights, individual rights, and the rights of women. If confirmed, Judge Samuel Alito - affectionately called "Scalito" by conservatives - would destroy the delicate balance Sandra Day O'Connor has brought to the Supreme Court and swing the Court far to the right.
America wants a mainstream nominee, not one who will turn back the clock on civil rights progress, worker protections, environmental safeguards, and our health and safety. With the nomination of Alito, all of those rights are now at risk.
We urge the Senate to conduct a complete, thorough, and probing review of Alito's record. For a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, the Senate must take all the time it needs to investigate not only his qualifications, but also his judicial philosophy."
The Leadership Council on Civil Rights is a coalition of religious groups and civil rights organizations. Among the members are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. - National Ministries, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Catholic Charities, USA, Episcopal Church - Public Affairs Office, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
You can expect that many Christians and other people of faith will oppose this nomination because of Alito's record on civil rights and women's health care issues.