JUDGE ALITO'S RECORD HIGHLY TROUBLING ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS
President Bush today nominated Judge Samuel Alito, of the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit, to Justice O'Connor's seat on the
Supreme Court. It's no secret that Justice O'Connor was the fifth
vote in many 5-4 decisions that protected women's fundamental rights
and freedoms. In nominating Judge Alito, President Bush has chosen
someone who has a highly troubling record that raises serious
concerns for women in the areas of reproductive rights, federalism,
and sex discrimination in employment. His confirmation has the
potential to roll back core legal protections that Americans,
especially women, have relied on for decades.
Some troubling examples that reveal Judge Alito's judicial philosophy:
Judge Alito has opposed Congress's power to act on issues that are
central to the lives of women and all Americans. He wrote a strong
dissent from a decision upholding Congress's power to ban the
possession and transfer of machine guns. In another opinion he ruled
against Congress's power to enact important provisions of the Family
and Medical Leave Act.
On women's reproductive rights, he was the lone dissenter on his
court in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. Unlike the rest of the court,
and the majority of the Supreme Court, he would have upheld a state
law requiring women to notify their husbands before having an
abortion. He also refused to join the opinion of his court striking
down a state ban on abortion procedures that had no exception to
protect a woman's health, and wrote his own opinion making clear he
went along with the court's decision only because as a lower court
judge he was bound to follow a Supreme Court decision requiring that
the law be struck down.
He has issued decisions making it harder for victims of race and sex
discrimination to prove their cases. In one case, he was the lone
dissenter from a decision joined by all 12 of the Third Circuit's
other judges that allowed a claim to go forward where a woman had
alleged that, because of her sex, she was denied a promotion,
retaliated against for complaining, and then forced out of her job.
Instead of naming a consensus nominee, President Bush has opted to
pick someone who meets the far right's ideological litmus test.
Judge Alito looks a lot more like Justice Scalia than Justice Sandra
Day O'Connor, who had a record of being open-minded and was a key
swing vote for women's rights.
1) Call your Senators today! Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 or
find their D.C. office numbers and voice your concerns about Judge
2) Share this alert. Forward this alert to friends, family and
colleagues and encourage them to take action and sign up to receive
information as the confirmation process unfolds.
3) Stay informed. Check NominationWatch.org regularly and stay
tuned to e-mails from NWLC for the latest information on the Alito
nomination to the Supreme Court.
Draconian Cuts in the House Budget: Take Action!
October 28, 2005
CONGRESS POISED TO CUT VITAL SERVICES TO PAY FOR TAX BREAKS
Take action now and over the next two weeks:
Tell your Representative and Senators that these cuts are
House Committees Approve Cuts to Child Support, Child Care, Medicaid,
and Other Vital Supports
Merely five weeks after shelving plans to slash programs for the poor
and pass new tax cuts, Republican leaders in Congress have made an
about-face. And they are counting on the public's fleeting attention
span to get away with this.
The House Ways and Means Committee, which earlier this year had been
directed to cut $1 billion from its programs as part of the budget
reconciliation, this week approved more than $8 billion in cuts,
mostly from supports vital to low-income women and their families.
These deeper cuts by the Ways and Means Committee are in step with
the drive by House Republican leaders to increase from $35 to $50
billion the cuts to programs that benefit low- and middle-income
Americans to help pay for $70 billion or more in additional tax cuts
they plan to pass as step two of the budget process.
The Ways and Means Committee approved the service cuts on a vote of
22 to 17, with Republicans voting to approve the measure, and
Democrats voting against (Rep. Clay Shaw and Rep. Mark Foley, both R-
FL did not vote). The proposal would cut about $5 billion from child
support enforcement, $600 million from funding for abused and
neglected children, and more than $730 million from Supplemental
Security Income (SSI), which provides income support for poor people
with disabilities and poor elderly people. Overall, the bill
undermines key supports that help low-income women and children
The Congressional Budget Offices estimates that the proposed cuts for
child support enforcement would reduce child support collections by
$8 billion over the next five years and $24 billion over the next 10
years. In other words, custodial parentsoverwhelmingly mothersand
their children will lose billions more in child support payments than
the government will save by slashing the program.
In addition to cutting child support enforcement and other services,
the Committee's action would reauthorize the Temporary Assistance to
Needy Families (TANF) programwith harsher work requirements and more
restrictions on access to education and training for mothers
receiving TANF. The bill also reauthorizes the Child Care and
Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Federal funding for child care has
been frozen since 2002, but the Committee would provide only $500
million in additional funding for child care over the next five
years. This is half of the $1 billion increase previously approved
by the House and far less than is needed to keep pace with inflation
while paying for additional demands created by the bill's increased
work requirements, including the new child care costs. There are
already tens of thousands of children from low-income families on
waiting lists for child care assistance. And this bill would mean
270,000 fewer children would be helped.
Also this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved
about $9.5 billion in cuts to Medicaid over five years. The bill,
which passed 28-22 (all Republicans present voting in favor, and all
Democrats present voting against), requires beneficiaries to make
higher co-payments and gives states more flexibility to reduce the
benefits now offered to Medicaid recipients. Today, the House
Agriculture Committee will consider $844 million in cuts to the Food
Stamp Program over the next five years. These Committee proposals
will then move to the House Budget Committee, which will combine them
into one reconciliation bill likely to head to the floor of the House
in the next two weeks.
The Senate has also completed its consideration of reconciliation
cuts in the various committees, and is expected to vote next week on
final passage. While not as draconian as the House cuts, the Senate
still makes $39 billion in cuts to mandatory programs, including $10
billion from Medicaid and Medicare. If the full Senate passes its
reconciliation cuts this coming week, it paves the way for deeper
cuts when the differences in the Senate and House bills are worked
out in conference.
Some lawmakers claim these cuts are necessary to offset spending for
emergency relief and reconstruction on the Gulf Coast. But both the
House and Senate are cutting services, not to achieve savings to pay
for hurricane relief or to reduce the deficit, but to help pay for
more unnecessary and irresponsible tax cuts, which Congress will
consider in November.
TAKE ACTION NOW AND OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS!
Call your Representative and Senators at 202-224-3121 or click here
to find their D.C. office numbers and tell them that these service
cuts will hurt their constituents:
Restricting access to health care, reducing funding for child
support enforcement, cutting back on food assistance for working-poor
families, and making it tougher for low-income families to work and
pay for child care will penalize the most vulnerable Americans,
including the very people the President said the government should
help in the wake of the hurricane disasters. Those who have the
least should not be asked to give up basic necessities.
If lawmakers were serious about preserving revenue to rebuild the
Gulf Coast, addressing the poverty highlighted by Hurricane Katrina
and reining in deficits, they would re-examine tax policies that have
shrunk federal revenues. They would not propose additional tax cuts
or cuts to supports for low-income families.
Americans don't believe in punishing the poorest among us while
rewarding the richest. My Representative/Senator should recognize
this and vote against passage of the budget reconciliation bill.
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