Local NAACP, Florida NOW oppose Alito


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 1:29 p.m.

The local NAACP and the Florida National Organization for Women Inc. jointly announced on Saturday their opposition to the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The NAACP Alachua County Branch and Florida NOW held an afternoon press conference at the Paramount Plaza Hotel and Suites on SW 13th Street, where the latter group was holding its 32nd state conference.

Michael Bowie, president of the Alachua County NAACP, said the organization doesn't take a stand on all Supreme Court appointments but decided to do so on the Alito nomination.

While retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's vote was not always favorable to the NAACP in cases, her vote was always viewed as being in play, according to Bowie.

"This is a risk we can ill afford to take in the court's history," Bowie said. "We oppose the confirmation of Samuel Alito. We are asking you to contact your senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson to fulfill their constitutional duty. Alito is an inappropriate nominee for our nation's highest court."

Nelson announced Tuesday that he plans to vote against Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court, while Martinez indicated his support for the confirmation a week ago.

Clarice Pollock, president of the Florida chapter of NOW, said much more is at stake than Alito's view on abortion rights and privacy issues, and that his nomination threatens the life of mainstream working people.

She asked the group to raise its editorial voice to call on U.S. Senate considerations.

"Samuel Alito's confirmation will be a human time machine that will take the nation back 40 years. Besides urging your senators to not vote, urge them to filibuster."

Both groups emphasized that the seat Alito has been nominated for is a lifetime position to fill a vacancy created by a judge that is often considered the "swing vote" on many issues important to Florida NOW and the NAACP.

Participants held signs that read, "Stop Alito," and chanted, "No Alito," which drew applause from the group of about 60 people.

Teresa D. Southern can be reached at (352) 337-0373 or southet@gvilleguardian.com.

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