Area NAACP, NOW stand against Alito nomination


Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
The Florida National Organization for Women and the Alachua County branch of the NAACP joined forces Saturday to announce their opposition to Samuel Alito's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We can predict with substantial certainty that Judge Alito will very likely vote in a manner that, given the current composition of the court, will cause a substantial shift in the court's civil rights jurisprudence with devastating effects," said Michael Bowie, president of the local NAACP branch.
Clarice Pollock, president of NOW in Florida, said Alito's nomination "threatens the everyday life of mainstream working people."
The group is concerned about Alito's stance on abortion rights and privacy, Pollock said.
But, she added, "His clear intent and the opinions to which he participated in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been to turn back the clock several decades to a time when employers were free to fondle and demand sex from women workers, when racial discrimination was the norm in hiring and firing, when no one protected the environment or provided health care to the poor, when no one could leave work to attend to a sick child or elderly parent and expect to stay employed."
Bowie and Pollock's comments were greeted with applause and cheers from a group of about 60 people, gathered at the Paramount Plaza Hotel & Suites, 2900 SW 13th St., where NOW in Florida is holding a convention.
Bowie noted the NAACP does not take a position on every Supreme Court nomination.
But, Bowie said, Alito's nomination is key because he would succeed Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been seen as a swing vote in the court.
The NAACP didn't always win O'Connor's vote in cases it litigated. However, Bowie said, "We always viewed her vote as being in play."
Bowie and Pollock urged those opposed to Alito to contact Florida Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote Tuesday on whether to recommend Alito's nomination to the Senate, which makes the final decision.
Pollock called on legislators to filibuster and stall Alito's nomination.
Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com

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