Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ford statement on the confirmation of Judge Samuel A. Alito

Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. today issued the following statement on the confirmation of Judge Samuel A. Alito as a Justice of the Supreme Court:

"I respect the President's constitutional right to nominate Judge Alito, which is why I supported an up-or-down vote on his confirmation. I consider him to be an intelligent and experienced judge. However, after weighing his testimony and listening to the debates, I have several serious reservations.

"First, Judge Alito has exhibited a disturbing pattern of supporting the expansion of executive authority and government intrusion at the expense of personal freedoms. Second, he has tended to side with special interests over individuals. Third, his opinions show a dangerous tendency to erode civil rights and the rights of the disabled. In fact, his colleagues on the Third Circuit rebuked him in at least one case for trying to seriously undermine the laws banning discrimination in the workplace. Finally, many of his responses to questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee seemed opportunistic and contradictory.

"Because this is such a critical position on the Court -- one that has the potential to tip the balance of the Court in the areas of individual rights, civil rights and the separation of powers among the three branches of government -- I believe this nomination deserves extra consideration. For these reasons, I would have voted against Judge Alito's confirmation if I was a member of the U.S. Senate."