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Updated January 31, 2006

Samuel Alito, Jr. has been sworn in to the Supreme Court, joining President Bush’s other appointee, Chief Justice John Roberts. How these two new justices rule on key issues from individual freedoms to minimum wage will drastically affect the future of our country. The Center for American Progress has provided this guide to understanding Bush’s recent appointments.


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Alito’s America: Campus Progress and American Progress Action Fund have launched a special website featuring news headlines from an Alito future, fact sheets on the Alito record, a do-it-yourself photo petition, and a 90-second animated video that U.S. News and World Report calls “apocalyptic=”

The Yale Report on Alito: Alito’s Opinions, December 19, 2005
The Alito Project at the Yale Law School has conducted a comprehensive review of Judge Alito’s published opinions from his more than fifteen years on the Federal bench.

Progressive Priorities Series: Ideology Matters
A progressive view of the judicial confirmation process and the Center for American Progress’s position on judicial confirmations

Statement on the Confirmation of Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
In voting to confirm Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, the Senate signaled its acquiescence to the President’s accumulation of power.

Religious Leaders Call on Senators to Reject the Manipulation of Faith in the Supreme Court Confirmation Debate, December 9, 2005

Statement on the Nomination of Judge Samuel Alito, Jr., October 31, 2005
President Bush has relinquished the opportunity to unite the country behind a moderate mainstream conservative and chosen the path of confrontation urged on him by the extreme right wing.

In Opposition to Roberts Nomination, September 20, 2005
As lifetime appointees, Supreme Court nominees bear the burden of showing that they deserve confirmation. While at his confirmation hearings Judge Roberts proffered a reassuring self-portrait of judicial modesty and restraint, we believe that he has not met that burden.

Statement On the Nomination of John G. Roberts, July 20, 2005
Supreme Court justices serve for a lifetime. The Senate must make sure it has all of the facts before giving its consent.

Letter to Senators Specter and Leahy Regarding Judical Nominations, July 14, 2005
A group of over 100 legal scholars from across the United States released a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging Senators to give careful consideration to nominees’ views about the Constitution and the judicial process, and offering 10 questions that should be asked of every nominee to the federal courts.
. See the press release here.

Statement on the Retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor , July 1, 2005
Justice O’Connor, appointed by President Reagan, has led efforts to find common ground on the Court – in case after case she has been the pivotal swing justice. President Bush bears the responsibility to help avoid further dividing the country between the extremes of those who may call for an ideological, litmus test nominee.

Ten Things President Bush Doesn’t Want You To Know About Scalia and Thomas, December 20, 2004
Some facts about the more conservative justices on the Supreme Court

The Role of Judicial Philosophy in the Confirmation Process, July 14, 2005
A Policy Address by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
From the event:
. Highlights: Video
. Mark Agrast: Video
. Sen. Charles Schumer: Video
. William Marshall: Video
. Jeffrey Blattner: Video
. Beth Nolan: Video
. Transcript: Full text (PDF)

Note: All video provided in Windows Media format.

The Return of the Constitution in Exile?, May 3, 2005
Do President Bush’s judicial nominees threaten fundamental environmental, health, safety and workers’ rights protections and even Social Security?
From the event:
. Transcript: Full text (PDF)

Going Nuclear: The Threat to Our System of Checks and Balances, A Center for American Progress Event, April 25, 2005
The Center for American Progress brought together distinguished scholars and public figures to discuss the role of the filibuster in protecting minority rights and providing an effective counterweight to presidential power.
From the event:
. John Podesta: Video
. Senator Robert Byrd: Video
. Prof. Michael Gerhardt: Video
. Norman Ornstein: Video
. Q&A Session: Video
. Transcript: Full text (PDF)
Note: All video provided in Windows Media format.

Why Roe Doesn’t Matter Right Now, by Jessica Arons, November 30, 2005
What alarms me – and what I fear too many people are missing in this debate over Roe – is how a Justice Alito would rule in a case that will be argued before the Supreme Court today.

Think Again: Questioning Mr. Roberts, by Eric Alterman, September 15, 2005
John Roberts’ confirmation hearing to become the 17th chief justice of the Supreme Court began amidst considerable discussion of the nominee’s likely rulings on key political issues such as abortion, civil rights, and affirmative action.

Roe in Troubled Waters, by Melody Barnes, September 2, 2005
Those elected to defend the Constitution must be willing to press Judge Roberts for answers about the fundamental constitutional right to privacy and its implications for women’s rights and well-being.

Judge Roberts and the Court-Stripping Movement by Mark Agrast, September 2, 2005
Over two decades ago, a young government lawyer named John Roberts tried-and failed-to convince the Reagan Justice Department to endorse a number of radical legislative proposals that would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear cases concerning such issues as school prayer, school busing, and abortion.

Back from the Brink: A Conventional Alternative to the Nuclear Option, by John D. Podesta and Mark D. Agrast, May 12, 2005
There is yet time for thoughtful people on both sides to avert a confrontation that would impair the ability of the Senate to act as an effective counterweight to presidential power.

Would Strict Constructionism Have Freed Dred Scott?, by Charles Rothfeld and Thomas Colby, October 26, 2004
President Bush offered the notorious Dred Scott case case as an example of the dangers of appointing judges who are not “strict constructionists.” But in fact, it is just the opposite. It is history’s most infamous example of the shortcomings of the very judicial philosophy that President Bush endorses.

The Supreme Court in a Time of Transition, by Charles Rothfeld, October 8, 2004
Every four years, the first Monday in October brings fresh predictions that the outcome of the presidential election will tip the balance on the Supreme Court. This time, that prediction almost certainly will come true.

Also See: The Nuclear Option: A Resource Guide, May 9, 2005

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